Questions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards founder Francessca James met with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak to ask him questions about entrepreneurship, from entrepreneurs in our own community.

Sophie Milliken

Sophie Milliken, founder of Moja Group, said “Funding for female and minority founders is shockingly low. What can be done to encourage investors, to distribute their investment pots more evenly?”

The Chancellor responded by saying, “ It’s something we’ve grappled with a lot at the treasury, and we’re really glad that the Future Fund, was something that we set up during the pandemic to support the startup world who didn’t necessarily benefit from some of the other loan schemes that have been put in place. It turned out that quite a big majority of the funding from the future fund went to companies that either had mixed ethnicity or mixed-gender founders, which was a really positive outcome in that regard.

“But more generally we have something that we helped create, called the Investing in Women Code, and we’re busy trying to get investment companies to sign up to it. And what that means is they will have a senior person at the investment firm who takes responsibility for this and makes sure that we do drive more investment to female-oriented or female founders. And that there’s also more data transparency about what investments are being made. We’re going to keep getting more investors signed up to that code, and hopefully, that will change behaviour and we’ll make progress on this. 

It’s something that I care about. I have two young girls and, you know, we want to make sure that they’re not limited in the opportunities that are available to them, and there are fantastic female founders out there and they need to get exactly the same support as everyone else.”

You can watch the full interview with the Chancellor here.