From starting with five members in November 2020, South East Angels has grown to become the most active angel investor group in Brighton, with members having invested £1m in innovative startups to date.
Investor members are local high net-worth individuals who have either previously built and sold a company themselves or have invested in a number of startups already. Kristina appreciates having a varied skillset and different backgrounds in their group, meaning members bring different perspectives to all the opportunities they look at.
In a male-dominated industry and a complex ecosystem, Kristina has built one of the few female-led angel groups in the country, and created a go-to hub for local founders to raise early-stage funding and a valuable community for angel investors where they can connect, learn, and grow.
Over the past ten years, female angel investors have been involved in deals worth £2.34 billion, backing over a thousand female-founded businesses and helping to create more than 10,000 jobs, according to a recent study published by Beauhurst and the UK Business Angels Association.
But out of the 36,800 angel investors in the UK, only 14% of them are women.
Gender diversity is not the only challenge. Just 1% of angel investors are black, and there is a general lack of diversity of thought and experience to appropriately represent the need for capital and innovation. Kristina is on a mission to change this with the ‘Future Angels’ initiative, which aims to encourage more women into angel investing through education and networks.
In order to act on rectifying the findings of The Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship report published in 2019, the Investing in Women Code is a government initiative, supported by the UK Business Angels Association, for organisations who provide finance to entrepreneurs to commit to supporting equality in all their interactions with entrepreneurs.
South East Angels has signed the code as a commitment to supporting diversity in access to finance. All companies who sign the code commit to providing data on application and investment activity, disaggregated by gender, and will be collated in an annual report by the Department of Business and Trade.
It is also a commitment to adopting internal practices that aim to improve the potential for female entrepreneurs to successfully access the tools, resources, investment and finance they need to build and grow their businesses.
South East Angels was recently awarded Dynamic’s Best New Business Award.