Entrepreneurial women in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man are able to apply for lending from a new US$1bn fund launched by HSBC this week.

The Female Entrepreneur Fund has been launched by HSBC to provide US$1bn in lending to women-led businesses around the world over the coming 12 months.

Access to funding remains one of the biggest hurdles for female business leaders worldwide. Female-owned businesses received just 3% of start-up funding in 2019, while venture capital for female-founded enterprises hit a five-year low of 2% in 2021. Boston Consulting Group estimates closing the gender gap for women-led businesses could boost global GDP by US$5 trillion .

The Fund launch comes in tandem with the introduction of the new HSBC Roar initiative, which enables female entrepreneurs, as well as successful Fund applicants, to access:

• A series of masterclasses hosted by experienced business leaders
• Tailored networking sessions with major companies in markets where the Fund operates
• Insights from the investor community and the opportunity to pitch to angel investors
• Bespoke advisory for female entrepreneurs from experienced HSBC bankers

Together, the initiatives launched by HSBC aim to break down the barriers faced by female entrepreneurs and provide the infrastructure and support to help them scale and grow their businesses.

Aline Ayotte, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC, Channel Island and Isle of Man, said:

“By introducing the Female Entrepreneur Fund and the HSBC Roar programme to women across the islands, we are building on HSBC’s commitment to support female-led businesses in our local markets.

“We know from global statistics that women tend to receive significantly less funding than their male counterparts and the Female Entrepreneur Fund and the Roar programme provide an opportunity to counter some of the bias faced by female leaders. Small and medium-sized businesses will be the bedrock on which our island economies and communities are rebuilt in the wake of the pandemic, and our focus is on providing a full range of support to women to ensure they achieve their ambitions.”

The HSBC Female Entrepreneur Fund is open to both new and existing customers across 11 markets, including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, and application details can be found here.

All Fund applicants will have access to the HSBC Roar programme whilst women in the islands can also sign up to participate in the programme by 27th May here with a number of virtual and local events to be announced in due course.