Angel investors provide capital at the early stage of start-up businesses when other investors might not be prepared to back them.

The Halo Business Angel Network connects entrepreneurs in Ireland with angel investors. There are between 600 and 700 angel investors in the network, and just 6% are female.

HBAN is encouraging more women to consider becoming angel investors.

"There is no doubt about it, investing in early stage businesses is riskier but the exits tend to be bigger," said Niamh Sterling, an investment consultant with HBAN.

"When we look at our research, we found that women tend to be more risk averse. Our aim is to try and break down the barriers around that and to give them the confidence to become angel investors."

HBAN holds master classes on angel investment, giving advice on tax planning, and term sheets, exits and due diligence. They want to give female investors, in particular, the confidence to come into the investment environment.

Does it matter to the start-up whether are not the investor is male or female?

Ms Sterling says investors are bringing capital, and their experience and expertise.

"Statistics will show that companies with a diverse investment pool as well as a diverse management pool, do better. Women tend to ask different questions and give a different perspective," she said.

"When we talk about diversity in HBAN, it is not just gender, it is age and culture and political background. It dilutes biases and challenges those biases. Companies do better when that's the case."

The most prominent sector for women investors is MedTech and Life Sciences, and research has shown that women also prefer to invest in syndicates rather than individuals.