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Women’s sport investment is set to be boosted by a new scheme launched by the Department for Business and Trade, the Women’s Sport Investment Accelerator.

In association with Deloitte’s Sports Business Group and supported by the International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Sport, the new initiative will run for a year starting from autumn 2023.

It will bring UK-based women’s sports rightsholders – leagues, teams, competitions and events – who are seeking investment together with industry experts and sports investors.

The new programme will provide a series of sessions offering market insights, connections and networking events alongside comprehensive mentoring for rightsholders who are looking for investment.

Elite women’s sport competitions such as the FA Women’s Super League and Netball Super League are among those which could benefit.

Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani said:

We want to make the UK the world’s top destination for women’s sport investment, and with this new scheme we can build on the Lionesses’ fantastic World Cup run to help attract investment in women’s sports’ next success stories.

This is an open goal for women’s sports leagues, teams and competitions looking for backing and will give rightsholders the tools they need to secure investment and drive growth.

The application process is open to rightsholders of any UK-based women’s sports leagues, teams, competitions or events aiming to attract investment and boost their growth.

It is also being made available at no cost to taxpayers, with all speakers and mentors providing their time and expertise on a pro bono basis and the scheme being delivered through DBT’s partnership with Deloitte, who are providing event space and facilitating several of the scheme sessions.

Investment in women’s sport is growing rapidly and the popularity of the Lionesses’ run to the final of the Women’s Football World Cup demonstrated the scale of the opportunity available, in an industry expected to be worth over £1 billion a year by 2030.

Lisa O’Keefe, Secretary General for the IWG on Women and Sport, said:

The Women’s Sport Investment Accelerator is a fantastic initiative for the UK and one which the IWG is very pleased to support.

This year has been exciting for women’s sport around the globe, and we’ve seen some superb performances on the field of play and fanbase growth off it. The standard has risen, and the increased long-term investment has undoubtedly played a part in this.

The Accelerator pilot programme will help women’s sports teams and leagues capitalise on this opportunity and help push forward women’s sport.

Rightsholders for UK-based professional women’s leagues, teams, competitions, and events seeking investment can apply to take part in the programme via the following link, by 8 September 2023: Photo by Txllxt TxllxT, Wikimedia commons.