Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business


British Business Bank in Partnership with Development Bank and Women Angels of Wales


The British Business Bank has partnered with the Development Bank of Wales and Women Angels of Wales (WAW), the business angel investment syndicate for women.

The syndicate of over 30 women, led by lead investor Jill Jones, was set up in 2022 by the Development Bank of Wales, and will be jointly supported by the British Business Bank and the Development Bank of Wales.

WAW has been established to help support women in the early-stage investment community in Wales. As a syndicate, all deals can also have access to co-investment of up to £250,000 from the Development Bank’s £8 million Wales Angel Co-Investment Fund.

WAW was conceived to help address significant imbalances in the angel investment ecosystem, where women remain a substantial minority, despite data from the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) that shows that female angel investors have helped drive more than £2bn of investment in companies across the UK in the past decade.

(l – r): Susan Nightingale, UK Network Director for the Devolved Nations at British Business Bank; Jess Phillips, Senior Manager for Wales at British Business Bank; Jill Jones, Lead Investor for Women Angels of Wales; Rachel Ashley, Women Angels of Wales; Carol Hall, Investment Manager at DBW; Steve Holt, Director at Angels Invest Wales.

Data demonstrates that women are much more likely to invest in female-founded companies so this shortage of women angels has a direct impact on broader business and economic inequalities.

Whilst the Development Bank of Wales has been involved with WAW from the outset, the introduction of support from the British Business Bank is part of an initiative that is designed to support and accelerate the development of female led syndicates across the Devolved Nations. The support will be provided by the British Business Bank’s UK Network team which provides the Bank with a physical presence across the whole of the UK and was created to enhance and further build the Bank’s relationships with key small business access to finance stakeholders.

Susan Nightingale, Director for Devolved Nations for the British Business Bank, said:

“We believe that women angels have a critical role to play in supporting female entrepreneurship, which is why the Bank has been so keen to support Women Angels of Wales.

“Female representation in investor communities is directly correlated to investment in female led businesses and in 2021 only 6% of deals were led by all-female teams. We hope that the Bank’s funding and support will accelerate the growth of WAW, attract new female investors and work to rebalance the early-stage investment landscape in Wales.”

Jess Phillips, Senior Manager for Wales at the British Business Bank, said:

“It’s important to understand that you don’t need to have hundreds of thousands, or even tens of thousands of pounds at your disposal to be active in angel investing. There is a huge untapped resource of women in Wales who have both the means, experience, knowledge and passion, to support what WAW are doing.

“Maybe you’ve reached a stage in your career where you have a level of disposable income that would make angel investment a potential route for you? Or perhaps you’re a young professional with a healthy income and an interest in female focused investment?

“We want to help to find these women and work with them, alongside the Development Bank and Women Angels of Wales, to improve female representation in finance communities”.

Jill Jones is the Lead Investor for WAW. She said:

“The support of both the Development Bank and British Business Bank means that we have the firepower necessary to accelerate our work in Wales; encouraging more women to become angel investors and creating new sources of capital for innovative businesses.”

Business News Wales