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Take Your Performative All-Women’s Panel Elsewhere

March 8th 2024

This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating a win for women, achieved by an all-women team.

Following a recent change in regulation raising the income threshold for angel investors from £100,000 per year to £170,000, Lodestone and many others were concerned about the impact on female founders and investors.


While the requirement applies to all angel investors, we knew its impact would be far greater on women, who would face a drastic decline in eligibility due to the persisting gender wage gap. Nationally, it was anticipated that the proposed regulation would lead to a 70% decrease in eligibility, with some areas seeing eligibility plummet by as much as 90-100%. In some regions -including Northern Ireland and the Northeast of England - this meant there would be zero eligible female angel investors.

Concerningly, of the 15.66 million women working in the UK, only 76,500 (0.0048%) would meet the new threshold. To compound this, the regulation change would have an extreme and disproportionate dampening effect on the ability of female entrepreneurs to raise capital to start and grow their businesses- with female investors being twice as likely to back female-led start-ups as male investors.

Mobilizing with a powerful team of lawyers – spearheaded by the formidable Emma Wright at Harbottle and Lewis - investors, and entrepreneurs, we collated a private letter to the Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee - signed by over 200 high-profile women - highlighting the gender-specific impact of the change. Simultaneously, we utilised our network to raise the changes behind the scenes with No 10 and the Treasury, asking questions of the Government in Parliament. Our campaign across LinkedIn – utilised AI video from Zeed – to create shareable content.

It quickly became clear that to amplify the campaign’s impact, we needed to take it public. We launched an open letter to the Chancellor calling on him to reverse the change in the Spring Budget, and quickly gathered signatures from nearly 3,000 women across the UK. We were thrilled to have the support of influential figures including broadcaster Mary Portas, entrepreneur and Founder of TALA Grace Beverley, and numerous female founders and investors including Sarah King, Erika Brodnock MBE, Lavinia Osbourne, the Power Collective, Deepali Nangia, Martha Silcott, Samantha Addy, Lydia Amoah, Wai Foong Ng, Daisy Hill, Nayna McIntosh, Bindi Karia, Nabeelah Begum, Alexandra Rico-Lloyd, Sarah King, Louise Hill, Cindy Gallop, Romi Savova, and more.

We also had the support of Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP and Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, who raised our letter directly with the Chancellor. Our Founder, Martha Dalton, was invited to No. 11 alongside other signees to speak to Economic Secretary to the Treasury Bim Afolami about the campaign ahead of International Women’s Day.

Dame Caroline Dinenage MP said, “The success of our important campaign to overturn changes to the investment regulations that disproportionately disadvantage start-ups founded and funded by women, was in large part down to the inspiring female-led team at Lodestone.

"Following a letter to the Women and Equalities Committee, which I sit on, as well as conversations with No 10 and the Treasury, all as part of the behind-the-scenes campaign, the Lodestone team and their wider network brought together over 2500 high-profile women from across business, academia, and politics in an open letter to Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt. Alongside this public call, I was able to raise the issue with the Chancellor personally and gave support on conversations with the Treasury team.

“Coupled with the letter, Lodestone was able to secure the backing of prominent female entrepreneurs and positive coverage across the main newspapers, which all helped to demonstrate the strength of feeling on this issue to the Treasury.

"On Budget Day we saw the fruits of our efforts as we secured the investment changes that will make it easier for women investors to put their money where they want.”

Following the success of the open letter and positive coverage from The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail, and tech focused outlets, we are delighted to announce that the Chancellor saw sense and reinstated the previous eligibility criteria for angel investors in the Budget on Wednesday.

Our Managing Director Martha Dalton said “As a majority female owned business, Lodestone could not help but spring into action when we heard of these changes. It has been a pleasure to work with so many inspiring women to hold the Treasury to account and secure a decision that will benefit women up and down the country.”

If you are looking to start a campaign to achieve real change, please get in touch with us on info@lodestonecommunications.com.