Fund Her North has partnered with Yorkshire Asian Business Community Association (YABCA), with grant support from Leeds City Council’s Innovation@Leeds programme, to deliver the Fund Her Leeds project.

Working with female entrepreneurs – particularly those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds – Fund Her Leeds will provide focused support to those who wish to make Leeds their launch and scale pad.

Fund Her North, founded by NorthInvest, champions female entrepreneurship. It works with female founders at every stage of their investment journeys – from startup through to scaleup and exit. The first of its kind, Fund Her North reviews, coaches and connects Northern female-led businesses to a volunteer collective of over 30 women operating in VC’s, funding organisations and angel groups. This includes the Fund Her North angel syndicate, ‘Women Angels of the North’, which is made up of 46 women from across the North. To date, it has delivered funding of over £5.7m to female founded businesses.

The YABCA was formed to deliver economic and social betterment within the Yorkshire community and is the social values division of the Yorkshire Asian Business Association. YABCA operates an Ambassador Network, which is a volunteer network of key individuals from the community who are keen to support business founders, giving them the tools and expertise to create a level and balanced ecosystem.

Diversity and inclusion are central to the Fund Her North and YABCA strategic aims and approach. Female and particularly diverse founded businesses in the region need support to understand the growth potential of their business, navigate the funding landscape and access the finance that they need to start-up and grow.

The Fund Her Leeds project centres around investment readiness, providing a minimum of 12 hours support and access to bespoke finance, preparing for growth, and pitch deck preparation workshops, 1:2:1 coaching with experts to refine a go-to-market strategy, and the opportunity to pitch to a panel of experienced investors. The Fund Her Leeds project is also supported by Unity Enterprise who will be hosting the sessions.

The Innovation@Leeds support has been funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, administered locally by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Jordan Dargue, co-founder of Fund Her North and Women Angels of the North syndicate and chief investment officer at NorthInvest, said: “We’re delighted to be launching the Fund Her Leeds project as we know a big part of scaling any business is being able to locate and attract the capital which is needed to grow. Supporting more female and underrepresented communities to leverage finance and market opportunities is critical in driving inclusive growth in the region, and it’s great to be partnering with YABCA and build on our long-standing relationship with Sharon Jandu. Let’s make the North a great place to start, grow and scale female and diverse founded businesses!”

Sharon Kaur Jandu OBE (pictured), director at Yorkshire Asian Business Association, said: “We’re thrilled to be working alongside Fund Her North to deliver the Fund Her Leeds project. We know female founders and particularly the BAME community don’t have the same equality of opportunity as their male counterparts when it comes to raising investment. Providing tailored support and coaching will help to build confidence and develop knowledge of where to locate the finance needed to grow. This will aid in levelling up efforts and drive more inclusive growth in the region”.