HSBC announced today the launch of its new HSBC ROAR initiative, providing a series of programs aimed at addressing barriers faced by female entrepreneurs, and supporting them in scaling and growing their businesses.

Alongside HSBC ROAR, the bank also announced the establishment of the Female Entrepreneur Fund, which will provide $1 billion in lending to female-owned businesses in the next 12 months. According to HSBC, access to funding is one of the most significant challenges for female business leaders, with only 3% of startup funding and 2% of venture capital going to female-led enterprises in 2019.

Sam Cooper-Gray, Global Head of Market Strategy at HSBC Business Banking, said:

“The level of funding received over time by female-led businesses is significantly lower than male counterparts, while the recent impacts of the pandemic have seen these same businesses disproportionately affected. Female-owned businesses are also less likely to have global networks, meaning international expansion can prove particularly challenging.”

HSBC ROAR aims to provide tools, networking opportunities and access to funding for female entrepreneurs. Programs include a series of masterclasses by experienced business leaders, tailored networking sessions with major companies, insights from the investor community, the opportunity to pitch to angel investors, and a bespoke advisory for entrepreneurs from experienced HSBC bankers.

The HSBC ROAR programs and Female Entrepreneur Fund will be available in the US, UK and several other geographic markets globally.

Cooper-Gray, added:

“As the global economy continues to rebuild from the impact of the pandemic, small and medium-sized businesses will continue to be the bedrock on which our economies and local communities are built, meaning we need to ensure that those led by women are given the support to fulfil their full potential.”