The mission of Funding Focus is to level the uneven playing field that female and diverse entrepreneurs face when raising capital.

We do this by raising awareness and providing education to founders, investors, NGOs and governments worldwide. We are committed to supporting UNSDG 4 – Quality Education and UNSDG 5 – Gender Equality.

Funding Focus is back! After the success of our inaugural conference on 25 November last year, we’re returning for a virtual event on 25 November 2020 between 14.00-18.00 GMT. You can register for your tickets here.

This year, the focus of the conference will be slightly different. While last year we concentrated solely on the inequalities that female entrepreneurs faced, this year we are looking more broadly at the barriers experienced by entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds – whether that be in terms of gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Founder of Funding Focus David Horne says this:

“Looking back at the inaugural Funding Focus event on 25 November 2019 at the London Stock Exchange, beyond the fact that it was an amazing day, two things in particular spring to mind:

  1. The inequalities faced by female founders are not confined to the UK. The social media posts around the conference last year received engagement from people in 10 countries around the world – Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and the USA. The comments made it clear that inequitable funding was a big issue for these other countries too.
  2. This isn’t just about women versus men. That day I heard stories of people from all manner of diverse backgrounds who face the same uneven playing field.”

You can read David’s thoughts in full here.


Four Logo




David B. Horne

Author and founder of Funding Focus

Founder of Funding Focus. David’s consulting practice, Add then Multiply, works exclusively with entrepreneurs to scale using his FACE methodology: Fund, Acquire, Consolidate, Exit. He is also a bestselling author.

Nitin Pachisia

Founding partner of Unshackled Ventures

Nitin is a founding partner of Unshackled Ventures, an early-stage fund he conceived to help immigrant founders in the US succeed faster. He has invested in over 50 startups at Unshackled and is passionate about business strategy, business development and solving problems that are considered unsolvable.

Fiona Lee

Cofounder of Pod Foods

When Fiona came to San Francisco, she started a cookie company with her co-founder Larissa. Frustrated with the incumbent system of distribution, the two cofounders built a b2b marketplace that provides both stores and vendors a more affordable and accessible way to source and sell products.

Dr. Daniela Marino

Chief Executive Officer at Cutiss

Daniela studied biotechnology in Milan, followed by a PhD at the ETHZ before moving to the UZH for her postdoc. During this time she raised a large grant to do first-in-man studies for a personalized skin tissue therapy. Soon after she decided to start her own company to bring this innovation to the market.

Lucy McCarraher

Founder at Rethink Press

Lucy is the founder of Rethink Press and the Business Book Awards. She is the author of 13 books including A Book of One’s Own – a manifesto for women to share their experience and make a difference. She is also the founder of ABOO, a business network for women that promotes book-writing, diversity and the voices of women.

Richard Skaife

Partner at The Conscious Fund

Richard is a partner at The Conscious Fund and chair at Microdose HQ. He also sits on the advisory board at the Psychedelic Medicine Association. He previously held CEO & partner roles in tech venture capital & is a mentor for the UK’s leading social impact charity.

Katrin Herrling

CEO and Co-founder of FUNDING XCHANGE

Katrin is the CEO and co-founder of FUNDING XCHANGE (FXE), which sets out to use access to new live data sources and advanced analytics to disrupt the inefficient SME funding space by creating the first UK platform for businesses to easily access bank and non-bank funding solutions in one place.

Lorraine Pringle

Founder and CEO of LOCA

Lorraine is the Founder and CEO of private digital platform LOCA. Since launching the site together with Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council (BFC), she has curated and brought together leading brands and talent across 14 industries and provided a unique set of digital tools that allow them to connect and collaborate more efficiently.

Tanya Rolfe

Managing Partner and Co-founder of Her Capital

Tanya is an angel investor and has had a 15 year legal career in M&A and real estate. She founded the Ladies Investment Club in Singapore in 2017 and is a managing partner and co-founder at Her Capital. She has a strong track record of building investor teams to provide the combination of skills required to support founders.

Agnès Petit Markowski

CEO and Founder of MOBBOT

Agnes is founder and CEO of MOBBOT, a 3D concrete printing company which aims to reduce manufacturing costs. Agnes’s mission is to bring new technologies onto job sites to increase productivity, reduce painful jobs and carbon footprint. She aims to challenge the status quo of 3D concrete printing and set a new standard of fabrication on construction jobsites.

Samuel Okusaga

Founder of Worth of Mouth

Samuel is a serial entrepreneur & Tedx Speaker. He is the founder of Worth of Mouth – a youth media platform which shares and celebrates the positive stories of under-represented young people and helps the biggest businesses market, connect and recruit diverse Gen-Z audiences.

Navid Akhtar

Founder of Alchemiya.com

Navid is the Founder and CEO of Alchemiya.com, a SVOD service that has been called the ’Muslim Netflix’. Launched in 2015, he has contributed to its successful growth and inclusion as an Amazon Prime Video Channel.  During his time at the BBC he advised senior management on diversity issues.

Emma Kenny

Writer and Founder of Appy

Emma is a psychologist, TV presenter, writer and expert media commentator, and is now recognised as one of the UK’s leading TV psychological experts. She is perhaps best known for her role as resident psychologist on ITV’s This Morning. Emma is also the founder of Appy, the health and wellbeing social media app.

Lauren Lewis

Founder and CEO of Glassworks

Lauren is the Founder and CEO of Glassworks, a London-born fashion brand with three bricks-and-mortar boutiques and an emerging e-commerce presence. As the leader of a start-up led by an international team of women, Lauren is set on creating a brand image and company culture that celebrates and empowers people of all backgrounds.


14:00 to 14:15

David Horne – opening remarks

14:15 to 14:30

Tanya Rolfe – Funding female founders and creating a world we all want to see

14:30 to 14:35

Speed networking

14:35 to 14:50

Samuel Okusaga – The advantages of being “disadvantaged”

14:50 to 15:05

Agnès Petit – the challenges of finding a ConTech startup

15:05 to 15:10

Speed networking

15:10 to 15:20

Lorraine Pringle – Going with your gut

15:25 to 15:40

Lauren Lewis – Fundraising against the odds

15:40 to 15:45

Speed networking

15:45 to 16:00

Lucy McCarraher – on writing a book

16:00 to 16:15

Richard Skaife – Who can influence VCs to become equality focused investors?

16:15 to 16:20

Speed networking

16:20 to 16:35

Dr Daniela Marino – CUTISS personalized skin: a journey from academia to industry

16:35 to 16:50

Navid Akhtar – tbc

16:50 to 16:55

Speed networking

16:55 to 17:10

Katrin Herrling – Female entrepreneurs: a different approach to funding your business

17:10 to 17:25

Emma Kenny – Because you’re worth it!

17:25 to 17:30

Speed networking

17:30 to 17:45

Nitin Pachisia and Fiona Lee on working together as VC and entrepreneur

17:45 to 18:00

David Horne – closing remarks

Register here

Thirteen percent of UK venture capitalists studied at Oxbridge, compared with less than 1% of the general population

At current rates, it will take 25 years for all-female teams to reach even 10% of VC deals according to research from the British Business Bank

Just 13% of minority ethnic founders surveyed over nine years had received VC funding

The percentage of women in venture capital is increasing – but only very slightly, according to Diversity VC

Just 0.9% of business founders in Europe at Black

Only 6% of European CEOs are female. Only 1% of CTOs are

Want to keep up to date with all our latest news and information?
Enter your email below to be added to our mailing list.