There’s still progress to be made when it comes to getting angel investment dollars to women entrepreneurs. (Credit: PXHere)

Finding funding continues to be a significant struggle for women entrepreneurs.

New research from the 2021 HALO Report, an annual look at investment trends published by the Angel Resource Institute, finds that angel investors are giving less money to women business owners than they had in years prior. They’re also making fewer deals with this group of entrepreneurs.

Last year, women comprised just 16% of the business owners who received angel funding, down from 17% the year before – which wasn’t great on its own.

But it’s especially frustrating, researchers add, because more angel investment money was doled out in 2021 than in the past – $4.8 billion in all, which marks a 29% uptick in total funding granted from 2020, and 50% from 2019.

“It’s disturbing that when startup investment dollars surged in 2021, female CEOs’ proportion of dollars and deals dropped,” report author and startup advisor Gwen Edwards told Forbes.

The news wasn’t all bad, though – the 2021 HALO report did find that minority entrepreneurs are setting records when it comes to securing angel investors. Last year, 19% of recipients were non-white. 

It’s helpful insight – even if it wasn’t the intel researchers initially sought. “The original purpose of the HALO Report was so angel investors could compare a potential investment pre-market valuation to other startups by industry and region,” Edwards noted to Forbes, adding that it has since become a way to better understand how women entrepreneurs fare with angels.

There is also a path toward improvement, researchers added in the report itself: “Angel groups long focused on backing women-led companies, know the data – as more women become angels, more women get access to capital.” 

And in that regard, there’s some heartening news to be found. Today, roughly a third of all angel investors are women – marking a major jump since the turn of the century, when women accounted for just 5% of this investing community.