Ana-Julia Van Bilsen Irias

Investment Executive

Charities Aid Foundation


06 November 2017

The launch of the WISE100 Index was an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of leading women in social enterprise. For Venturesome it also represented an opportunity to highlight the current status of female leadership in the sector.

According to the State of Social Enterprise Report 2017, 41% of social enterprises are led by women. With this in mind we decided to review the Venturesome social investment portfolio, and see how many of our investees are female led.

Here are the results:

  • 72% of our investees in our specialist Social Enterprise Assist Fund are led by women. This is currently the highest proportion of female CEOs in our portfolio.
  • 43% of our investees in our main fund portfolio are led by women.
  • Overall, 47% of our investee organisations are currently being led by women
  • Excitingly, 13% of our investees were named as part of the WISE100 Index

You can find out more about some of these impactful, female-led organisations:

  1. hiSbe: hiSbe stands for ‘how it Should be’ and it’s new ethical supermarket that aims to make good, sustainable food affordable and accessible.
  2. YMCA South Devon: YMCA South Devon was set up in a deprived area of South Devon to provide educational and recreational programmes for children and young people who experience social and economic disadvantages.
  3. Prisoners Abroad: Prisoners Abroad is a human rights and welfare charity providing humanitarian aid, advice and emotional support to British people affected by overseas imprisonment.
  4. Best Beginnings: Best Beginnings aims to ensure that every child in the UK has the best start in life.

Whether you are a female-led organisation or not, Venturesome would love to hear from you. We are dedicated to providing flexible, affordable finance to enable charities and social enterprises to grow their social impact and become more resilient.


Visit our website, contact the team on 03000 123 300 or email us at and we’ll be happy to help.