Investing in Women Code FAQs

Investing in Women Code - Frequently asked questions

About the Code

The Investing in Women Code is a commitment to support the advancement of female entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom by improving female entrepreneurs’ access to tools, resources and finance from the financial services sector.

The Code is designed for all organisations that finance entrepreneurs, as it aims to increase the amount of finance received by female entrepreneurs.

The Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship was published in March 2019, and highlighted the stark barriers faced by female entrepreneurs in the UK. The report outlined eight practical recommendations to start to address these barriers, the first of which was the Investing in Women Code. Many organisations who fund entrepreneurs have recognised that the barriers facing female entrepreneurs is a deep-seated and widespread challenge for the industry, and some have taken positive action to overcome it.

By signing up to the Investing in Women Code, organisations will send a positive signal to entrepreneurs who are looking for funding, and to other investors who can be confident that the signatory is committed to supporting diversity in access to finance. Furthermore, you will become part of an ecosystem made up of nearly 250 organisations who are all committed to removing the barriers faced by female entrepreneurs.

A diverse and inclusive business ecosystem is good for customers, entrepreneurs, businesses, investors, and society. DBT and signatory firms share a commitment to work in partnership to make the United Kingdom one of the most attractive countries in the world to start and grow a business by advancing female entrepreneurship.

As of November 2023, there are 240 signatories to the Code.

Data collection

The aim of data collection is to drive concrete action and change within the industry, in order to achieve its broader diversity and inclusion goals. The purpose of data collection is three-fold:

  • To have self-reported data that spans all institutions that fund entrepreneurs from banks, to angels, to venture capital firms, and other organisations. Data is currently not collected and published on this scale; this data collection will provide a cohesive picture of the state of funding for female entrepreneurs.
  • To enable individual organisations to benchmark themselves against their cohort, and to track their progress and shape the actions they take to support female entrepreneurs.
  • To encourage organisations to add ‘gender’ as a metric in their internal reporting, which may lead to organisations capturing wider diversity metrics. Without collecting the data, it is difficult to identify issues and measure change.

The data reporting process is once a year. Data will be collected from signatory organisations by their respective industry bodies and shared with DBT in January, covering the period of the preceding calendar year. A report will be published by DBT in Spring, and this cycle will be repeated annually.

There is a one-year grace period built into the Code to allow signatories to put the appropriate reporting systems in place. They should then provide the required data for the next reporting cycle.

If you have any questions that have not been answered by this guidance or any comments or feedback on any aspect of the Code, please contact: [email protected].

Their contact details are as follows:

UK Finance: [email protected]
UK Business Angels Association: [email protected]
British Venture Capital Association: [email protected] or [email protected]
The British Business Bank: [email protected]

If your organisation is a signatory to the Investing in Women Code, the name of your organisation will be published online in the list of signatories, which is updated from time to time. DBT may also announce that your organisation is a signatory to the Investing in Women Code.

Data will be published and analysed in aggregate form in the annual report. Data from individual organisations will not be published without their explicit consent. Similarly, data that could identify an entrepreneur will not be published without consent.

DBT, as a public body, is legally obliged to provide certain information if requested by members of the public. This obligation is subject to exemptions including commercial confidentiality.

If a request were to be made, DBT would consult the relevant third parties to establish the impact of disclosure and would apply relevant exemptions taking account of their representations.

It is the responsibility of each organisation to ensure that they are complying with all relevant legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Each signatory will be responsible for ensuring their privacy policies are GDPR-compliant and, where necessary, updating their privacy notice or issuing a separate privacy notice to reflect the data processing that they carry out as part of their commitment to the Investing in Women Code. Please see Chapter 3 for more information on this.


Yes – collecting data relating to someone’s gender is processing personal data.

Yes. The lawful basis is that such processing is necessary for the performance of a task in the public interest – namely, to collect data relating to the gender of entrepreneurs in order to support the advancement of female entrepreneurship in the UK. The relevant section of the GDPR is Article 6(1)(e).

Depending on the current wording, you may need either to update your existing privacy notice or to provide a separate privacy notice to cover the activities relating to your organisation’s participation in the Code.

No. There are no personal data flows between your organisation and DBT or the relevant body designated by DBT. You will provide information in aggregate, anonymised and with no names or further details from which individuals could be identified.