Women Backing Women National Conference 2023

Empowering more women to invest in female founders across the UK


What is the Women Backing Women National Conference?

This conference was organised by UKBAA in partnership with the Women Angel Investment Task Force and the Women Backing Women campaign and was kindly hosted by Nat West.

  • The Women Backing Women campaign was set up in January 2022 with a mission to identify, educate and empower many more women to use their experience and spare financial capacity to invest in women founders and support their journey from start-up to successful scale-up.
  • The event offered an opportunity to share experience and insights on what has been achieved so far – and what more can be done in the year ahead to move the needle from the existing 14% women angels to at least 30% of women angel investors in the total Business Angel population here in the UK.

Those attending heard about:

  • Women Angel investors who are taking leadership across the regions and devolved nations to back women founders, building and growing angel investment syndicates and establishing thriving female focused investment ecosystems.
  • The role and opportunities for Women Angels to back female founders who are creating ground-breaking solutions to pressing social and global issues – and we will hear how women innovators in science, research and technology are benefitting from access to women investors.
  • Insights on policy developments, research and market developments , hearing from Government, industry experts and investors who will look at latest data and trends that are impacting the landscape for women investment.
  • Finally, there was an audience debate, drawing on the views and ideas of those attending on what further actions we need to take and what further measures and changes are needed to enable women angel investing to further grow and thrive  across the UK in 2024.

Read the full recap of the Women Backing Women National Conference 2023.

Women Backing Women National Conference
Women Backing Women National Conference


14.00: Welcome:

James Holian, MD, Business Banking and International Retail, Nat West

14.10:  Setting the Scene for the Women Backing Women conference:

Jenny Tooth OBE, Executive Chair UKBAA

14.15:  Why Women Backing Women Matters: what have we learnt so far?

Key players from the Women Angel Investment Task Force will share their insights:

  • Debbie Wosskow, Serial Entrepreneur and Angel Investor
  • Deepali Nangia, Partner SpeedInvest VC and Angel of the Year 2021-22

14:45: Building effective Women-focused Angel Ecosystems: what works and what more is needed? : Women Angel Leaders share their insights and experience from across the regions and devolved nations :

  • Marla Shapiro, Founder HERmesa
  • Jill Jones, Women Angels of Wales
  • Kristina Pereckaite, Founder, SouthEast Angels
  • Gillian Fleming, Co-Founder, MINT Ventures, Scotland
  • Amy Newton, Inclusive Angels

Moderator, Helen Oldham, LIFTED Ventures

15.30: Fireside Chat: Mary McKenna, Angel of the Year 203-24, Co-Founder Awaken Hub in conversation with Yvonne Greeves, Director of Women in Business, NatWest Group

Angels, Northern Ireland

15.40: Comfort break

16.00:  Key Note Speech : Tulip Siddiq MP, Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury

16.15: The role and impact of Women Angels backing female founders in science, technology and innovation

Women Angels share their experiences and discuss the need for more women to invest in women in research and innovation.

  • Dr Pamela Walker, Thena Capital
  • Jessica Rasmussen, Co-Founder, Two Magnolias
  • Rhona Campbell, Investing Women Angels Scotland
  • Irene Graham OBE, ScaleUp Institute

Moderator: Pam Garside, Chair, Cambridge Angels

16.55: What policy measures and market trends are impacting the growth of women investment – and what further changes will improve the landscape for women angel investing?

Industry experts and decision-makers will provide latest data and insights

  • Natalie Gasson-McKinley Snr Manager, Policy and Strategy, British Business Bank
  • Dr Emily Nott, Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Programmes, Innovate UK
  • Gillian Roche Saunders, Co-Founder Adempi Associates, EISA Board Member

Moderator, Irene Graham, CEO Scale- Up Institute

17:30: Moving the Needle toward 30% : Next Steps for Women Backing Women and what can we all do together :

Audience debate with Table facilitators

18.10: Summing Up and Thanks

18.15 Conference Close: Networking and Refreshments 

19.30: Depart


Tulip Siddiq

Tulip Siddiq MP
Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury (City Minister)

Andrea Sinclair
UKBAA Angel of the Year ’22

Mary McKenna
Angel Investor of the Year 2023

Debbie Wosskow OBE
Serial Entrepreneur and Angel Investor

Jessica Rasmussan

Jessica Rasmussen
Co-Founder & CEO, Two Magnolias

Kristina Pereckaite
Founder & Director, South East Angels

Marla Shapiro
Founder, HERmesa

Deepali Nangia
Partner Speed Invest, Angel of the Year 2021-2

Dr Pamela Walker
Angel Investor, Thena Capital

Rhona Campbell
Chair Investing Women Angels

Natalie Gasson-McKinley MBE

Natalie Gasson-McKinley MBE
Senior Manager, Policy and Strategy at the British Business Bank

Jill Jones
Women Angels of Wales

Dr Emily Nott
Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Programmes at Innovate UK

Pam Garside

Pam Garside
Chair, Cambridge Angels

James Holian

James Holian
Managing Director, Business Banking & International Retail, NatWest ​

Gillian Roche Saunders

Gillian Roche Saunders
Co-Founder Adempi Associates, EISA Board

Helen Oldham
Co-Founder, Lifted Ventures

Irene Graham

Irene Graham OBE
CEO, Scale-up Institute

Gillian Fleming

Gillian Fleming
CEO, MINT Ventures

Amy Newton

Amy Newton
Founder, Inclusive Angels

Yvonne Greeves

Yvonne Greeves
Director of Women in Business, NatWest Group