COVID-19 Govt Support Webinar

We’re here to help you get through this coronavirus disruption

My accountant Will Farnell, who understands entrepreneurship, small business needs, challenges and opportunities and is always proactive, has kindly agreed to jump onto a Zoom and share his knowledge and insights with the latest information regarding govt support for COVID-19.

We have arranged the webinar to ensure that he can share what he knows about government support available and to let you know what he’s personally doing to lobby government to ensure that all areas of the business community get the support they need. As a team his company are committed to doing all they can to ensure they guide their clients through the challenging weeks we all have ahead of us. He has kindly extended this to The Bigger Pie community.

So please get your questions ready – email them to me, [email protected] in advance and I can forward them to Will, you’ll also have the opportunity to ask on the call.

Please invite others that you know will benefit from this Zoom call – at this time we’re happy to extend the invitation to anyone who is unsure what the govt is doing to support them. Pre revenue start ups, Directors of their own business that aren’t PAYE and not classed as Self-Employed, and the myriad of people seemingly caught in no mans land when it comes to support.


Enjoy the replay here:

When does the STEM gender gap start?

There is some evidence pointing to growing momentum in getting women to participate in cryptocurrency and blockchain, although the road to gender parity remains long.

Coverage of this issue often alludes to limited female participation in STEM careers, which seems to remain capped somewhere between 10 and 30% per each STEM field.

But why?

What are the barriers to entry that are keeping women from pursuing technology, engineering, and math careers? When exactly do these barriers emerge?

And until we get clarity on these points, how do we expect to successfully balance out involvement in the industry between the genders?

Fortunately, there is data out there that sheds some light into potential answers to these questions. Let’s consider the course of an individual’s education, and see if we can glean anything from the relative performance of the two genders at various time points along the way. The research cited in this article is US based.

The gender gap is evident in colleges and universities.

We know there’s a gender gap evident in the hiring patterns of STEM jobs. Is this difference intrinsic to the work force—meaning, is the volume of qualified female STEM professionals smaller than the number of males available?

The STEM gender gap persists through degree and certificate programs.


The data points to “yes,” there are fewer women than men getting formal education in STEM disciplines.

Although the total number of women getting STEM degrees and certificates has steadily increased between 2008 and 2016—the time period for which this data was available and compiled—so has the total number of men doing the same. There is a persistent gap between the two groups that does not seem to be resolving.

What is the source of this gap? Is there a difference in the demonstrated aptitude of male versus female students studying STEM subjects? If you’re declaring an outraged “no,” we hear you—but we should look and see what the data tells us.

There is no significant difference in math performance between the two genders.

Fortunately, we have data available that gauges the performance—broken down into boys’  and girls’ scores—of students on standardised tests in mathematics.

No significant difference between how female and male students perform in elementary math.No significant difference between how female and male students perform in elementary math.


As you can see in the graphs above, there are no significant differences between the two genders’ performance on these exams. In fact, the boys’ and girls’ trends in performance over time seem to closely parallel each other. This data is from fourth graders, but we see the same pattern reflected in subsequent grades, through the eighth grade.

What about in high school?

The gender gap appears in choice of high school electives.

For most students, high school is the first time that they start to have a choice in the classes they take. Looking at the choices that students make, we can start to start to see trends in preferences and tie this in with other educational data.

High school reveals more boys choose applied math & logic courses.


Although still considered hard sciences, subjects like biology and statistics are often colloquially considered to be “softer.” Incidentally, women tend to prevail in choosing to study these subjects. The playing field gets to be a bit more even between the genders when it comes to chemistry and the first part of calculus.

But as the perceived rigor of the subjects intensifies, the discrepancy between male and female participation grows. More male students choose Calculus BC than female students; this pattern only intensifies with physics, and then even more so with computer science.

To see this pattern so clearly evident in the choices high schoolers make is telling. And since high school comes before anyone has even committed to college or any other degree program, this might account heavily for the persistent gender gap noted earlier.

The ways in which we encourage effort should be the same regardless of a student’s gender.

More research needs to be done into this, but the work that’s been completed so far points to gender differences in the classroom that affect the course of student development.

One study conducted by reputed gender bias researchers Myra and David Sadker paved the way for further classroom studies, which have only continued to confirm their findings as persisting over two decades later. In that study, elementary and middle school boys were found to call out their answers eight times more frequently than their girl peers. When girls called out, they were chided and told “raise your hand if you want to speak.” Again, this sort of distinction between the treatment of male and female students has been replicated by other studies.

Studies have also shown that an individual’s fear and anxiety about math can hurt their ability to perform well in the subject, with absolutely no reflection of their actual aptitude. Researchers have shown that female teachers­—who, incidentally, form over 90% of the elementary teaching work force—who were anxious about math (as determined via survey) transferred this anxiety specifically to their female students. The more anxious the female teachers were, the more their female students were shown by the end of the year to identify with the stereotype of “boys are good at math, and girls are good at reading.”

There are still more institutional problems that continue to reinforce the gender gap in STEM. We covered a couple of them above, but further studies are still needed to dig even deeper into these questions of how male and female students are treated differently—and how this leads students down different paths.

What’s next?

There has been progress in the programming available to facilitate STEM involvement for girls and women, and there are many resources available for females of any age to tap into, whether for crypto and blockchain or otherwise. However, we cannot assume that this issue is now “resolved.” As the data presented above illustrates, the resolution of the gender participation gap is not just a matter of time.

Fortunately, there are many potential ways in which we can tackle these problems and strive for resolution. From mentorships to visible female leaders, through conscientiousness regarding how we discuss success and describe opportunity, there are a vast number of ways in which we can improve on both education and work­—and help even out the playing field not just for women, but for people of all backgrounds and abilities. In future posts, we will dig deeper into some of these solutions.

For now, we urge you to brainstorm what measures you’d like to see or possibly even effect yourself—to be more conscientious regarding the ways in which males and females are addressed differently.

Women to Watch – Spotlight on Helen Disney, CEO Unblocked Events

Helen Disney got into blockchain in 2014 even though, before that, her career had nothing to do with technology. Helen had worked for many years in think tanks and public policymaking, the connection being her interest in new ideas, and in particular how those new ideas can be communicated in ways that people can readily understand.

Drawing on her experience as a journalist at The Times newspaper. Helen has brought those communication skills from journalism and from the policy world – which are both really about unpacking complicated problems for the general audience — into the blockchain world where innovation is abundant.

Her goal is bringing storytelling and more fun ways of explaining these new concepts, so people can really grab on and get enthusiastic about the technology in the same way that she has.

In this interview with Jillian Godsil, Helen shares her insights and experiences in the Blockchain world.

Blockchain technology and crypto assets are complex, do you also find it’s often deliberately misunderstood and misinterpreted by many organisations that don’t want to be locked in?

There are misunderstandings about how the technology works and some people who would like to obfuscate. This happens in all technologies and just in day-to-day life, even with things like taking your car to the garage for a tune-up. Sometimes, we feel like, “I don’t know that much about cars, and so I’m going to get ripped off.” It’s the same with cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

I don’t want people to feel like they’re in a position where they get lost in technobabble. I don’t want them to have the understanding that if they use their money this way, they’re going to get involved in something that’s dodgy. I want people to see it as something that’s a good opportunity, not something that’s going to turn out to be negative.

Explain more about your role as CEO of Unblocked Events. What do you do, and what projects are you working on?

Unblocked Events was set up in 2016, building on what I’d already discovered and learned through being involved in other Bitcoin events and blockchain media platforms. All of the work I’d been involved in was ultimately to help business people understand how blockchain can be applied in different verticals of business.

There are a lot of potential applications of blockchain in areas like healthcare: many think of data management but blockchain can also change the way we do clinical trials to make them more transparent, or it can possibly improve the way we commercialise intellectual property from scientific research.

Most people don’t realise that blockchain has anything to do with something like healthcare. I create one-day events around themes like health care, energy, public sector, creative industries, supply chains etc.

Each day that we run provides the opportunity to go in detail into what the most innovative companies and startups are doing in the field. We vet them ahead of time, and make sure they’re interesting and will provide learning opportunities for people from mainstream companies or public life that want to really learn about this topic without necessarily going to a huge blockchain event that’s all about the technical side.

They want to learn about blockchain, how it applies to them in their real, everyday lives, and what problems they can solve with the technology.

We’re also building a lot of educational content courses and primers around those same themes, designed to help people be able to learn between events, or even just to supplement what they’ve learned at the events. This will enable professionals to understand how disruptive and emerging technologies like blockchain impact their industry.

You organise regular women-in-blockchain Meetups. Do you think it is still important to have women-focused meetups?

I came from a male-dominated career in politics and public policy with hardly any female think tank directors when I started out, so you have to find different strategies to deal with that.

My first Bitcoin event, was a similar experience.

There are multiple reasons for doing the women in blockchain events. Mass adoption: more people will get involved if the technology is visibly inclusive. And there are specific areas where we can support women in particular.

For example, financial literacy. Women don’t always get the education they need on financial products. You don’t have to be a high net-worth investor to need to know about pensions or savings products, or the best way to manage money or deal with debt—and it’s the same as we’re developing crypto assets.

Let’s say you want to own some Bitcoin but how do you actually get a Bitcoin wallet? How do you know how to keep your cryptocurrency safe? How do you deal with something like getting divorced? Or what if you die? Where’s your cryptocurrency going to go? Will your family be able to know how to get hold of the money if something bad happened to you?

These things are new skills that all of us need to learn, and perhaps even more so for women. Women often suffer from leaving the workforce when they have children. Often we lose income, too. Being able to have the opportunity to make money through investing in cryptocurrency and  keeping that money safe is a big deal.

Financial education is not done well for boys or girls in school. But for women, you kind of fall off the cliff face for a variety of reasons.

What do you say to women who ask, ‘how do I get involved with blockchain?

I think there’s an entry point for everybody now. When I first got involved in this area, I guess mostly what I saw was either tech entrepreneurs–—the real geeks—or people are very high-level, sort of tech investors who are very interested in cutting-edge ideas and who wanted to put money behind something that would potentially make them money and be revolutionary.

The industry has evolved. Multiple companies are looking for people to help them with events like I do, or marketing, and, with storytelling and writing like you do. As well as the technical side, legal, financial skills are needed, and as I mentioned before this technology impacts across all sectors. So whatever you do, there’s potentially a way to look at this and think, “Okay, how could I apply blockchain to what I do?”

You’re working on educational material. Where can people find out about those? And what kind of courses and primers are you doing?

We have a resources page on our website, which collates book and podcast recommendations, as well as videos that we’ve done at our events. You can also discover an array of interviews with CEOs of blockchain companies who are doing interesting things, and telling their story in a human way, this includes a number of female CEOs who are paving the way.

For 2020 we’re building some new primers around the verticals that we work in. A blockchain 101 for different sectors like healthcare and energy.. This is to supplement the broader content out there and offer real-world use cases and examples. It will allow even more of an understanding so when you come to our events you can really explore how you can build that application within your own business.

You can reach out to Helen Disney via the website, LinkedIn or Twitter @HDisney and @Unblockedevents.


Meet The Moderators – Getting Female Founders Funded #IWD

Not only do we have a wide range of investors for you to meet at our Getting Female Founders Funded, but we’ve got the most incredible moderators for these investor panels

Amy Guttman

Amy Guttman is a London-based foreign correspondent and broadcaster with more than twenty years of experience covering international current affairs for major TV and radio networks, including BBC, PBS Newshour, and CBS News. She writes about entrepreneurs and ecosystems for Forbes, Fast Company, OZY, Australia’s Financial Review and others.

Amy’s long career as a journalist has provided her with valuable insights that she utilises to advise and create media strategies for startups and other organisations. Through her workshops and talks, she helps businesses understand, identify and develop compelling stories to attract media interest.

From Seoul to Skopje, Amy has conducted high profile interviews with entrepreneurs, as well as political leaders, heads of State and other influential figures. She conducts fireside chats and moderates panel discussions at events around the world.

Monty Munford

Monty Munford is a keynote speaker/emcee/moderator/interviewer at prestigious events around the world, focusing on technology change, good and bad, current or emerging. He has interviewed on stage leading icons such as Kim Kardashian, Steve Wozniak, Gary Vaynerchuk, John McAfee, Brock Pierce, Brian Solis and many others.

He has spoken at more than 200 global events. He was previously a weekly tech columnist for Forbes in New York, the Telegraph in the UK and continues to write regularly for the BBC and The Economist.

He is also the founder of tech consultancy Mob76 that helps leading companies raise their profile and he publishes a Google News-verified blog, Mob76 Outlook, which has more than 110,000 unique visitors per month.

Recently Monty also became Venture Partner at

Sorcha Mulligan

Sorcha supports FinTech & Blockchain Supply Chain & Trade Finance Platforms who are seeking to achieve growth through Investment, Joint Venture Partnerships & direct Client Acquisition in EU & UK markets. Essentially, matching people with people who can work together to achieve a combined, aligned objective in their field. EQ with IQ is the wining formula.


Announcing 3 More VCs for Getting Female Founders Funded

Pitch Your Business in Front of these Investors

We’re thrilled to confirm 3 more VCs for our event Getting Female Founders Funded on March 6th in London, honouring International Women’s Day.

As we support women in tech we’re constantly having conversations about how we can best provide support to see women succeed. Getting access to real investors, to investors open to female founders is always high on the list of requirements.

When we see posts like this:

We hear about all these fantastic female-focused VCs and funds. They all have an amazing mission. Their teams are successful female entrepreneurs, operators, and investors. They all raised money for their fund recently. And, they focus on helping female founders, underrepresented founders, and minorities.

So far, amazing. As a society, we have come along way.

But, here’s the twists. It’s so hard to talk or get any attention from the above-said pioneers of female founder supporters. There is no way to speak to them. Believe me. I’ve tried. Email via their website, Linkedin, Twitter, etc. It’s as if we are again faced with the same old ways of VCs. “Get a warm intro,” be an ex-Googler, Facebooker, etc. or be connected to Silicon Valley elite to get a response.

Then we want to do something about it.

This is your chance to meet, network and pitch in front of investors who are in the room. Cheque books open, happy to meet and talk with you.

Do any of these match you?

  • You’re a founder who is passionate and has good communication skills and you’re looking for £50-200k
  • Your core business activity addresses one of the twin challenges of climate change or resource scarcity and you’re pre-seed looking for £75k-150k
  • You’re post-product, post-revenue, looking for funding provided for 18-month runway
  • You’re pre-seed/pre-revenue looking for £500k-£5m (UK based)
  • You’re seed looking for €500k – 3m size.
  • You’re enterprise and consumer focused, investing in areas where Europe has an advantage, including financial services, industry 4.0, food tech, gaming, music and fashion.
  • You’re equity pre-seed, with a strong tech team, and have something unique for market
  • You’re looking to funds through debt rather than equity and you’re looking for  purchase order based lending for any company
  • You’re Seed to series A, revenue generative in Advertising technology | Media technology | Big data | AI | Automation (Uk based)
  • You’re Pre Series A/Series A, Deeptech | Sustainability, with a diverse founding team
  • You’re Pre Seed looking for £20k-£50k ticket sizes
  • You’re Seed/Series A looking for £500k – £2M
  • You’re not ready for funding yet, but you will be in the future and want to start networking and learning now

Then book your place now to meet:

Celebrating #IWD – Getting Female Founders Funded

For every £1 of VC investment in the UK, female-founded start ups get less than 1p, yet women generate twice the revenues as their male counterparts.

To celebrate #InternationalWomensDay #IWD2020 we’re looking to move the needle when it comes to Getting Female Founders Funded, and we’re not alone. We’re organising an event to introduce Investors to founders and we’d love to see you there.

Let’s meet the investors who believe in supporting and investing in female founders:

If you’re a female founder looking to raise funds, here’s your chance to meet these investors in person on March 6th 2020, book your place here.

Susannah McClintock from Sustainable Ventures.

Susannah leads investment and accelerator activities for early-early stage start-ups. She holds more than 20 years’ experience in start-up growth and finance and is passionate about business models which aim to maximise their use of funds and resources to create sustainable enterprises that achieve specific environmental or social outcomes.

She holds Board and Trustee positions for both start-ups and charities focussed on environmental and social outcomes. She leads the Finance initiatives for the Mayor of London’s Women in Cleantech.

Bill Morrow from Angel’s Den.

Bill set up Angels Den in 2007 with some bright people and has been named the most influential figure in Alternative Funding by City AM. More importantly, 92% of all the businesses funded since that fateful day are still growing. He now runs a Family Office fund, investing around $5m pa.

Abi Mohamed at CGV and Scout for Backed VC

We (at CGV) invests in underrepresented entrepreneurs looking to change the world and communities they operate in. CGV offers a number of services including advisory (ranging from tech, marketing, and business strategy) and pre-seed funding.

In the two years since launching they have backed 25 rapidly scaling companies, building products loved by the millennial generation or solving deeply technical problems faced by the next generation. Over ninety percent of the companies they backed more than 9 months ago have already secured follow-on funding at an average valuation markup of 3x, raising from the best investors in Europe such as Index Ventures, and in the US such as Founders Fund.

Arunkumar Krishnakuma from Green Shores Capital.

Arun is a Venture capital investor, podcast host and a writer with particular interest in Deep technology solutions with a sustainability angle.

He has invested, advised and mentored startups and is passionate about purposeful innovation. His investments usually have an emerging markets angle to them, with business models serving the underserved and tapping the untapped.

Yao Huang from The Hatchery

Yao is a highly entrepreneurial executive who works with businesses and start-ups in many industries with a focus on technology, assisting with revenue and funding.

She founded The Hatchery, a venture collaboration organisation with international reach bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and investors through resources, advisory, funding and building communities. She has had multiple successes as an entrepreneur and supports other companies in advisory and C level management roles. She leads up the enterprise incubator in New York building products with corporate partners — from ideation, development, sales, funding to exit.

Devina Paul from Galvanise Capital

Galvanise provides innovative solutions for both large organisations and start-ups, and unique opportunities for early stage investors. We use our years of experience at the forefront of the digital space to work with our clients and partners to get to the root of the challenge quickly and find stimulating solutions.

Sara Simeone from Digital Oracles

Enabling Early Stage Investors and Business Angel Networks to discover the most promising emerging technology companies in Europe and beyond. Digital Oracles provides additional insights to investors trying to identify the most disruptive and promising startups and increase the overall level of education in Emerging Technologies.

Kevin O’Mellean from Akasha Innovation Hub

Kevin is COO of the AKASHA Innovation Hub in Dublin, Ireland. Advisor for the AKASHA Foundation in Zug, Switzerland. Experienced Finance Director in fintech and media with business focus on operational performance, growth management and strategy implementation.

With more investors to announce!

They’re willing to share their knowledge with you, help you get investment ready, and there’s even a chance to pitch your business to these investors. Book you place now. Click here.