A newly-launched initiative supported by Lloyds Bank to make early-stage business support more accessible to females has announced MedTech entrepreneur Lorna Green as board chair. 

The Lifted Project is a nationwide initiative that is creating regional growth boards in five cities across the UK, in a bid to make high-growth entrepreneurship more accessible to women outside of London and the South East. 

The Lifted Project was set up by Zandra Moore, co-founder and CEO of Panintelligence, a business intelligence software firm based in Leeds. It was established as a result of a recommendation from a new government taskforce established to boost private investment in women-led businesses across the UK. 

The project has created five regional growth boards in Liverpool, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Leeds and Newcastle with the aim of increasing the number of female-founded high-growth enterprises by 50% within three years. The initiative is backed and supported by Lloyds Bank and is being led by Lifted Ventures.

Lifted Ventures, co-founded by Jordan Dargue and Helen Oldham, is an early-stage investment connector, existing to increase the flow of early-stage capital to female founders, and to promote the business benefits of backing women. 

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Research has confirmed that there is a higher proportion of high-growth enterprises founded by women in the South East than elsewhere in England due to easier access to funding, connections, knowledge sharing, talent, and customer base.

The Liverpool City Region growth board is set to be led by Lorna Green, CEO of LYVA Labs, an innovation consultancy and early-stage investment company supporting SMEs in the Liverpool City Region which she co-founded in 2021. 

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Green started her career in the NHS before working in a variety of commercial private sector roles in MedTech companies including large multinationals and a range of SMEs with various C-level positions in SMEs. 

Before joining LYVA Labs, she was director for enterprise and growth at the Health Innovation Network. 

“I am delighted to be involved in this initiative, the support for entrepreneurs across Liverpool City Region has improved over the last few years, but there is much more to be done. Organisations such as LYVA Labs, Baltic Ventures and Kindred LCR are helping to drive change,” said Green. 

“Since LYVA Labs started investing, 56% of our funds have been deployed to support female founders. This board will enable all those organisations supporting female founders to startup and scaleup to come together around a shared mission, to affect meaningful change in Liverpool City Region.”

Supporting Green as vice-chair is Claire Lewis, the co-founder and CEO of Baltic Ventures, an early-stage tech accelerator and angel syndicate based in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. Lewis began her career in finance then went on to become the founder of a digital sustainable beauty startup which was acquired by a technology investor. 

Through their leadership, the Liverpool City Region Growth Board will support female entrepreneurs using real-time data sets provided by Leeds based tech companies, PanIntelligence and The Data City. The sustainable data model will underpin regional activities, drive the strategy and accelerate momentum, while allowing for progress to be monitored.

Also confirmed as part of the Liverpool City Region board is Helen Heap, CEO of Seebohm Hill Ltd; Carmel Booth, partner, Calderstones Consulting; Jessica Jackson, investment manager at Praetura Ventures; Dr Aileen Jones, executive director investment and delivery, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority; Emma Nolan, head of enterprise, University of Liverpool; Raina Heverin, founder & MD at ReCulture; and Katie Nicholson, director, LCR Angel Network.

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