HSBC has announces the launch of a Female Entrepreneur Fund, which will provide $1bn in lending to female-owned businesses over the next 12 months.
This comes alongside the introduction of the HSBC Roar initiative, which enables female entrepreneurs to access to a series of masterclasses hosted by experienced business leaders and tailored networking sessions with major companies in markets where the Fund operates
The Fund will also provide Insights from the investor community and the opportunity to pitch to angel investors and bespoke advisory for female entrepreneurs from experienced HSBC bankers.
These initiatives aim to break down the barriers faced by female entrepreneurs and provide the infrastructure and support to help them scale and grow their businesses.
Access to funding remains one of the biggest hurdles for female business leaders worldwide. Female-owned businesses received just 3% of start-up funding in 2019, while only 2% of venture capital deployed globally went to female-led enterprises. Boston Consulting Group estimates closing the gender gap for women-led businesses could boost global GDP by US$5 trillion.
Sam Cooper-Gray, Global Head of Market Strategy at HSBC Business Banking, said: “We are delighted to launch the Female Entrepreneur Fund and the HSBC Roar programme today to help address the challenges and bias that female leaders face.
“The level of funding received over time by female-led businesses is significantly lower than male counterparts, while the recent impacts of the pandemic have seen these same businesses disproportionately affected. Female-owned businesses are also less likely to have global networks, meaning international expansion can prove particularly challenging.
“As the global economy continues to rebuild from the impact of the pandemic, small and medium-sized businesses will continue to be the bedrock on which our economies and local communities are built, meaning we need to ensure that those led by women are given the support to fulfil their full potential.”
The HSBC Female Entrepreneur Fund will be open to both new and existing customers across 11 markets, and Fund applicants will have access to masterclasses hosted as part of the HSBC Roar programme.