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  • Spotlight On: Female Entrepreneurs

    January 17, 2017


  • While once we might have been talking about why the representation of female entrepreneurs was so low, now we can talk about its meteoric rise – and why that rise needs to continue.

    The trends are exciting, the implications are big and the news is very good for women starting a new business.

    Growing representation

    Prowess, the female-focused business hub, notes that women still account for just one-third of self-employed people in the UK. However, those stats are changing fast, and are likely to increase. For example, around 40% of self-employed professionals are female, with women choosing to go freelance at a faster rate than men.

    A big part of this change can be attributed to a generational shift in attitudes. According to research released in March 2016, while just 16% of entrepreneurs over 55 are female, that rises to 30% of business founders aged 35 to 54, and when it comes to the under 35s, women represent the majority at 59%.

    Measurable successes

    Success isn’t just measured by the growing number of women starting their own companies, however – it’s also measured by the number that build their enterprises and deliver good services, with strong financial gains.

    Stats from Barclays and the University of Cambridge show that, on average, female-run businesses report higher pre-tax profits than those run by men. As a result, it’s not hard to conclude that more female entrepreneurs would mean a massive contribution to the economy. In fact, RBS has done the maths and calculated that boosting female entrepreneurship could add around £60bn to the UK economy.

    Eye for innovation

    There are approximately 300,000 businesses run by women who are also full-time mothers, contributing around £7.4bn to the UK economy every year. Fitting business around other commitments and find innovative solutions to problems could be a factor in the success of women-led businesses.

    Research suggests that women are more innovative when it comes to solving problems. In the US, the 2015 Kaufmann Index on start-up activity reports that female entrepreneurs are proving themselves more adept at spotting gaps in the market and seizing the opportunity than their male counterparts.

    Hunger for more

    Whatever the reason, the signs suggest that this is not a short-term trend. 50% of female entrepreneurs are keen to start another business, compared to 20% of men, and this kind of extra ambition will surely result in more successes. Particularly when you consider that many of these aspirational entrepreneurs are not simply dreamers, but business realists keen to bring their visions to life.

    As well as sites like Prowess, new innovations like AllBright, the crowdfunding platform focused on female entrepreneurs, seek to encourage a whole new wave of entrepreneurs.

    And with the realism, success and innovation they’re already bringing to the table, we can’t wait until that next generation arrives.

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