43% of female angel investors eye up exits next year – HBAN survey

08 November, 2019


  • HBAN survey reveals average female angel exits with 2.5x return on investment
  • Medtech is most interesting sector for female investors, with increased interest in life sciences, cleantech and agriculture
  • More than a quarter to invest between €50K and €75K in next 12 months
  • HBAN to host female angel investor masterclass on November 20th in Dublin


Dublin, 7th November 2019 – HBAN (Halo Business Angel Network), the all-island organisation responsible for the promotion of business angel investment, and an initiative of Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland, today reveals that 43% of female angel investors are eyeing up exits from their investee companies in the next 12 months.

The survey, carried out by HBAN amongst angel investors across the island of Ireland, found that some 83% of female angels are particularly interested in getting involved with start-ups working in the medtech industry. At the moment, 67% of female investors have investments in this sector.

Greater investment is also expected in other industries, with female angels showing increased interest in life sciences; cleantech and the environment; food and beverages; and agriculture.

HBAN’s research also found that 57% of female business angels plan to invest up to €50K in the next 12 months, while 29% expect to invest between €50K and €75K during the same period.

Almost three quarters (71%) of female investors expect to keep shares in investee companies for three to five years. On average, female angels say that when they do exit, they achieve a return of 2.5 times the investment.

The research also found that 83% of female investors consider the commitment and motivation of founders to be an important factor when making decisions around investment. Two thirds (67%), meanwhile, consider the management and leadership competence of the founders to be key.

Speaking about her experience as a female investor, Faye Walsh Droulliard, member of HBAN’s Bloom Equity syndicate, said: “I joined HBAN two years ago, having been part of a couple of female investor networks for a number of years. So far, I have invested in seven companies and two syndicated funds. For me, it’s about making an impact and supporting social change via entrepreneurship, innovation and diverse funding models. Angel investment is one of the ways in which I can do this and I can’t stress how important it is for more women to become investors. As with anything – and as studies have shown – the more diversity there is in business, the more successful the outcomes and that applies to angel investing, too.”

Niamh Sterling, investment consultant, HBAN, said: “Female investors don’t just offer financial support; they bring in-depth knowledge and expertise, as well as a different perspective – and that’s invaluable for start-up organisations.

“Unfortunately, business angel investing is still a predominantly male environment, but it doesn’t have to be. As more and more women take on senior roles across all industries, they have so much knowledge they can share with entrepreneurs working in a similar space. It is not only rewarding for the women themselves, but it also benefits our start-up economy by giving business owners a more diverse range of viewpoints that will help them scale.”

HBAN is hosting an event to encourage and educate women about being more active as angel investors. The ‘Investing Together’ masterclass will take place at 5.30pm on Wednesday, November 20th 2019, in Mason Hayes & Curran, Barrow Street, Dublin 4. Aimed at investors, existing HBAN members and those interesting in becoming an investors, the event will explore the benefits of angel investment.

It will also include a panel discussion involving new and experienced investors who will be sharing their experiences with innovative start-ups, as well as the role of HBAN in identifying investment opportunities.

Register for the event here.




About HBAN

HBAN is a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland, dedicated to the all-island promotion of business angel investment. The HBAN umbrella group supports the early stage entrepreneurial community across the island of Ireland and actively works to increase the number of angel investors investing in early stage companies.  The all-island umbrella group works on a regional basis to support the formation of new angel networks and works with existing angel networks to develop their capability and capacity, and across a range of industry sectors. HBAN also acts as a voice to Government, stakeholders, business and the media to promote the interests and needs of the wider angel investment community. HBAN is managed by Dublin BIC in partnership with the regional Irish BICs in Cork, Galway & Waterford and with Clarendon Fund Managers in Northern Ireland. Further information is available at


About Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. The organisation works in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. In this way, Enterprise Ireland supports sustainable economic growth and regional development, and help create and sustain employment in Ireland.


About InterTradeIreland

InterTradeIreland is the only organisation which has been given responsibility by both governments to boost North South economic co-operation to the mutual benefit of Northern Ireland and Ireland. InterTradeIreland is a powerful resource for business growth, helping SMEs through a strong mix of funding, innovation supports and meaningful contacts.


About Invest Northern Ireland

As the regional business development agency, Invest Northern Ireland’s role is to grow the local economy. The agency does this by helping new and existing businesses to compete internationally, and by attracting new investment to Northern Ireland. Invest NI is part of the Department for the Economy and provides strong government support for business by effectively delivering the Government’s economic development strategies.

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