It’s International Women’s Day on 8th March! What better time to look back in celebration of the fantastic achievements that the #BackHerBusiness programme has brought for new female-led businesses across the UK.

Crowdfunder is working with NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Ulster Bank, all dedicated to supporting new female-led businesses. CEO of The RBS Group Alison Rose published the Rose Report a year ago and said, “The UK has one of the most vibrant entrepreneurial communities in the world, but only one in three of our entrepreneurs is female – we need to be more ambitious and find ways to unlock the huge untapped potential.”

The #BackHerBusiness programme has so far seen over 14,000 people exploring how to take their side-hustle to the next level. Through crowdfunding, women from across the UK with new business ideas have gone on to raise money from the crowd and unlock grant funding from NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, or Ulster bank, to get their ideas off the ground.

After 11 months, we’ve seen more than £2 Million pounds pledged through the Back Her Business platforms towards new business ideas, with over £730,000 in bank grant funding claimed so far. There have been some fantastic results…and so much more to come.

Saving the planet, one business at a time

Sustainability is a big concern among women joining Back Her Business, with 20% of the successfully funded businesses looking to make a planet-positive difference to the way we live our lives. With initiatives from tree planting to products made directly from recycled materials, community support projects and education centres to children’s books, sustainable products and services have collectively raised £150,000 so far, with successful projects bagging £3,200 on average. 

On the high street

Back Her Business has also made it onto your high streets! New female-led business ventures such as cafés, restaurants, sports centres, community hubs and pop-up shops starting up are streaming into stores and business parks, including over 20 new Eco No-Waste food stores opening across the UK.

Weigh Ahead: Rosemary Hunter
Weigh Ahead: Rosemary Hunter raised £17,866 with 222 supporters in 34 days with £7,500 funded. Click the image to follow Rosemary’s story.

Changing lives

We’re excited to see innovators and inventors. So far 20% of all funding has gone to new product ideas and apps with support and funding from Back Her Business. We’ve even seen the support of clinical trials for a new product called ‘The Moment’ which helps people with Parkinson’s. Back Her Business has seen over 6% of newly funded business focus on Health, and 3% on supporting disability focused causes.

The moment parkinsons clinical trials
The moment: Lucy Jung raised £20,274 with 137 supporters in 56 days with £5,000 funded with #BackHerBusiness. Click the image to follow Lucy’s story.

App development

Apps were always going to be a feature of new business startups, with mobile technology at the forefront. The funding for Apps has the highest average at just over £4.2k per project, as the crowdfunding public are keen to get their hands on the latest ideas. The Apps often aren’t for a specific region of the country, so the generalisation allows them to attract a wider geographic base to begin with. With Sports apps such as Rowith (A Rowing training app with celebrity sports stars). The average of submitted sport and exercise projects received £3.5k funding towards their goals.

Rowith: Chaymae Samir raised £20,159 with 109 supporters in 33 days with £7,000 funded. Click the image to follow Chaymae’s story.

The apps range from fun and functional to inspirational, with many focused on helping those with disabilities or promoting new educational tools for children. New Learning tools and workshops made up 2% of the funded projects so far with over £13,500 funded to launch new charitable not-for-profit businesses.

Renovation and refurbishment

Renovation of old buildings or reopening old businesses really captures the crowdfunding audience with projects receiving on average £4.3k per project. Ambitions such as larger community projects and individually driven enterprises crowdfunded to make use of space that has been unloved or impractical in the past. The Yoga Loft in Plymouth took advantage of loft space above the high street to create an escape for workers and residents in the town centre, in a space that would not have been previously possible.

Yoga Loft Plymouth
Yoga Loft: Led by Jo raised £41,326 with 201 supporters in 41 days with £5,000 funded with #BackHerBusiness. Click the image to follow Jo’s story.

Fashion and beauty

It may surprise some that beauty, cosmetics, jewellery and gift businesses make up less than 1.5% of all the ideas that qualified for larger funding amounts. Beauty businesses raised £900 on average. Back Her Business has given fashion entrepreneurs like Nicole Mensah a chance to launch products and compete against the big labels and high street brands. With ideas such as clothing lines that empower women and to make them feel confident no matter their looks, this year we’ve seen a huge range of apparel and clothing innovation ideas secure 7% of the funding distributed so far.

NM: Led by Nicole Mensah
NM: Led by Nicole Mensah raised £10,015 with 113 supporters in 21 days with £5,000 funded. Click the image to follow Nicole’s story.

Other areas that are thriving

Food outlets, food services, and food and drink products made up 16% of the new businesses launched. With the UK currently being in amongst the popular rise of vegan products and different cultural influences on our diets. We’ve even seen a fantastic anti-diet cause funded to highlight the need to diet sensibly and be body proud to tackle health and body anxiety issues.

Anti Diet Riot Bus
Anti Diet Riot Bus: Led by Becky Young raised £16,270 with 264 supporters in 70 days with £5,000 funded with #BackHerBusiness. Click the image to follow Becky’s story.

We’ll drink to that…

With three more alcohol based beverages now available on the market and the explosion of the Gin Market, which whilst buzzing with innovation, we’ve seen the launch of a customisable gin that enables you to infuse your gin to your tastes…we’ll drink to that.  

Chameleon Gin
Chameleon Gin: Led by Georgina Moss raised £14,772 with 110 supporters in 35 days with £5,100 funded with #BackHerBusiness. Click the image to follow Georgina’s story.

How you can get involved? 

International Women’s Day is a time for celebration of the fantastic achievements of so many, with many still to come.. tell us what’s your business idea? As Back Her Business is ready for you. 

Follow the link to find out more about #BackHerBusiness and we can help you start to drive your business forwards.

To be part of the Back Her Business programme, you need to:

  • Identify as female
  • Live in the UK
  • Not yet made your first £1,000 this year or making under £1,000 per year for your new business idea. 

All business figures and statistics are based on successful applications that received over £450 in funding. Smaller amounts from £25 upwards were made in addition to the businesses featured in this article.