Women in Innovation

Women in Innovation

Sharaj Jafair of True Invivo Ltd in a cloakroom

The Women in Innovation campaign was launched 1 June 2016 to address the under-representation of women engaging with Innovate UK, to get more women with excellent ideas innovating in UK businesses, and boost the economy.

  • Prior to launching the campaign we commissioned research on Women in Innovation to help improve our understanding of challenges and opportunities
  • The campaign was kicked off by opening our Women in Innovation Awards programme. The awards were about finding women with potential to be future leaders in innovation with great ideas. 41 women received a tailored package of support including a senior business mentor, expert advice and training/workshops.
  • We ran a Photography Exhibition in partnership with Getty Images to address the recognised issue of a lack of relatable role models for women in innovation and to challenge stereotypes/perceptions.
  • In partnership with the British Consulate in Boston and the Digital Catapult we took a cohort of female entrepreneurs on an Entrepreneurial Mission to Boston to showcase women-led business from the UK.

We have increased the number of women engaging with Innovate UK from 14% to 24%. This has been Innovate UK’s most successful ever communications campaign. But we will do more. Our continued commitment to women in innovation includes:

  • Women in Innovation Awards in 2018 aligned to the four Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges
  • Quarterly Innovation Accelerator Workshops for the wider women in innovation community
  • A review of Innovate programmes and ways of working to promote greater diversity and inclusion

Meet our female entrepreneurs

The videos below detail some of our award holders from our Women in Innovation campaign.

Shakardokht Jafari

Fanzi Down


Claire Spencer

Becky Sage