In March we celebrated International Women’s Day. Festivities aside, it is events such as this that bring our attention to just how much things have changed for women in business, and just how much resource is made available for all budding entrepreneurs. This blog will focus on how It's currently a perfect time for women who run their own business- the female entrepreneurs.
At first glance when looking at the statistics of start-ups in the UK, the difference between men and women may seem quite disconcerting; the numbers seem to cite that Men are twice as likely to actively seek entrepreneurial pursuits as women. However as we explored extensively in a recent Build British Business blog post, more and more women are deciding to go it alone and work for themselves, with female led businesses now accounting for 37% of all new start-ups.
The Enterprise Strategy
The Government is focusing on an Enterprise Strategy, with measures aimed at supporting women going into business. Alongside a commitment of £12.5 million to the Women’s Investment Fund, they are aiming to increase the number of female entrepreneurs with additional support, training, mentoring and networking. “Women’s Business Centres” are also being trialled around the country, emulating the US model which has been successful.
Women-led businesses already contribute tremendously to our economy. There is estimated to be 620,000 women- led businesses in the country, which generate approx. £130 billion turnover.
So is there a Gender Gap?
The prevalence and reasons for a gender gap is open to debate, but with the number of female-led startups increasing every year, maybe it has something to do with women’s motivations to go into business in the first place? When surveyed, men were nearly twice as likely to cite financial motivations, as their reasons for starting up their own business, as oppose to women. Unsurprisingly, women’s key drivers for the becoming self-employed were flexible working and family commitments. In fact 75% of those women polled stated that work and family life balance is better when you run your own business, as opposed to being an employee.
“I enjoy a flexible working arrangement that fits with my home life, I have 2 children. As I am a head-hunter a lot of my calls are made out of hours, so, in my opinion, there is no need to be in an office from 9-5. I always had the idea of working for myself, as I had seen my father do it and I had liked the idea of being responsible for my own destiny”.
So come on ladies, if you have ever entertained the idea of starting up your own business, there has never been a better time to do so….