Innovate UK's Women in Innovation programme consists of funding competitions and events to encourage female-led innovation.

Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation programme empowers pioneering female entrepreneurs to develop innovations. Delivered by KTN, the programme enables brilliant women to fully achieve their visions and change the world, while championing and celebrating gender diversity throughout UK innovation. KTN and Innovate UK work in collaboration to create a vibrant community of female role models, sharing knowledge and encouraging entrepreneurial growth for women throughout the UK.

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. Since then the number of women leading applications for grants to Innovate UK has increased by 70%.

Through the Women in Innovation Awards, established by Innovate UK, at least £1million will be provided to pioneering female entrepreneurs to develop innovations such as those to tackle climate change, developing new treatments and services for healthcare patients and cleaner transport. Female inventors will be awarded with a cash injection of £50,000 each, as well as receive coaching and mentoring.

Details of the Women in Innovation Awards 2021/22 are now live. Find out key information on the scope of the award, important dates and how to apply.

Women in Innovation Awards 2021/22

Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation 2021/22 competition, that aims to get more women with excellent ideas innovating within UK businesses, is open for entries!

Through the Women in Innovation Awards 2021/22, at least 20 female entrepreneurs will be awarded with a cash injection of £50K each, as well as a bespoke package of business support, coaching and mentoring.

Innovate UK and KTN hosted a briefing event on the 24th of August to tell you more about the scope for this competition, the application process and support available for applicants. 

If you are a female founder, co-founder or senior decision maker working in a UK-based company, join us to find out more! Watch the briefing event here

If you are considering applying for the 2021/22 competition, please click here to read our Frequently Asked Questions.

Women in Innovation Awards 2020 Winners: UK’s top female entrepreneurs backed by government to fire up economy through innovation

We’re pleased to present Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation Awards 2020/21 winners, 40 female entrepreneurs making the world of 2021 a better place.

Announced Monday 8 March 2021 by Science Minister Amanda Solloway to mark International Women’s Day, 40 of the country’s top female innovators will be awarded a cash injection of £50,000 each, as well as bespoke mentoring, to scale up and bring to market their disruptive business ideas, many of which have been borne out in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we build back better from Covid, it is a priority of mine to continue equipping our brightest female innovators with the tools they need to succeed, while encouraging a new generation of women to come forward and pursue their ambitions.
Today we are supporting 40 of our most trailblazing female entrepreneurs, helping them to turn their innovative ideas and aspirations into a reality, creating the products and services that will help improve our lives and boost our economy.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway

Located right across the UK, from Scotland to Salisbury, business innovations receiving government backing include a company creating sustainable green interior furniture for the airline industry, an app to make emergency services more accessible for those suffering from domestic abuse and an innovative technology to help large organisations to manage and reduce their waste.

Read about all 40 Women in Innovation winners in our brochure:

Previous Award Winners

Previous winners of the Women in Innovation Awards have had a huge impact on developing ideas while creating a new community of female entrepreneurs, proving that anything is possible.

Click here to learn more about the overwhelming success of the Women in Innovation programme and of its award holders.

Women in Innovation: Let’s Talk About… Webinar Series

The “Let’s Talk About…” webinar series is designed to start conversations, share stories and provide inspirational advice from women and male allies at the heart of the discussion.

Chaired by a guest host, and featuring a panel of incredible speakers, join the conversation, ask the questions you most want to know, share tips and advice, and most importantly, get motivated and uncover your true potential.

Upcoming online events:

Wed, 11 August 2021, 13.00 – 14.00: Women in Innovation: Let’s talk about…What I wish I’d known

Find all recordings of previous Women in Innovation webinars here.

Upcoming women in innovation events 

We also host regular webinars discussing key topics to support pioneering women achieve their business ambitions. Upcoming events include:

  • 23 Sep | Understanding funding opportunities and how to access them can be tricky. This session will help to dispel some of the myths and help to improve your funding application skills.  Click here to book a place.
  • 23 Nov | Mentoring is a powerful way to gain insight and grow as a person, but where can you find the right mentor and what needs to be considered when picking a mentor? In this session, we will showcase organisations that can help and share some stories of how mentoring shaped careers. Click here to book a place.

Women in Innovation Programme partnership with Founders4Schools

The Women in Innovation programme works to promote female role models and business leaders to inspire the younger generation into innovation. We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Founders4Schools enabling our Women in Innovation community to inspire students up and down the country using the Founders4Schools digital platform.

Read more here.

Women in Innovation Building Success Webinar Series

The Building Success webinar series has been designed to provide practical advice and tools for women innovators. The series will explore topics ranging from marketing through to intellectual property, funding & finance and HR & recruitment. Find out more and watch past recordings here.

Join the Women in Innovation Online Community

Innovate UK has also launched a community for Women in Innovation on WorldLabs, an innovative platform designed to support and encourage entrepreneurial growth.

Click here and become a member for free today.

Subscribe to the Women In Innovation newsletter for competition updates.