11 Jul 2019

Female Entrepreneur Glynis Wright

According to the findings of a recent independent review, women face too many barriers to setting up a business.

The review, headed up by Alison Rose, Deputy CEO of NatWest, was commissioned by the Government earlier this year.

It found that women’s average starting capital is 50% less than men’s; they spend 60% more time than men on family care and are more likely to think they lack the necessary skills and experience.

This is supported in the British Business Bank’s report that found for every £1 of venture capital investment in the UK, all-female founder teams get less than 1p.

Even after overcoming barriers, businesses that are run by women are on average half the size of male-led firms and far less likely to scale up to a £1 million turnover.

If women set up businesses at the same rate as their male counterparts, the UK would have an additional one million entrepreneurs and represents an additional £250 billion opportunity for the UK economy.

The Government has plans to increase the number of female entrepreneurs in Britain by 50% by 2030.  This ambitious plan would mean the UK matches leading major economies such as France, Canada and the US for gender equality.

The growth hub initiative provides a free and impartial service for female entrepreneurs to access support and facilitate business growth.

Business Gateway, the growth hub for Leicester and Leicestershire, works in partnership with public and private organisations to ensure the best opportunities for entrepreneurs in the region.

And the outlook in the Midlands is positive. Leicester recently ranked 3rd in the UK for the highest number of female entrepreneurs, behind only London and Birmingham.

Growth Hub manager Helen Miller

Supporting growth – Business Gateway manager Helen Miller

Helen Miller, Growth Hub Manager at the Business Gateway, said: “Supporting female entrepreneurs is a priority for us which is why we were delighted to be involved with the Women in Business lunch on 18th July with The Business Desk.

“The number of small and medium-sized companies run by women is increasing and we’ve seen some great success stories. There are more and more women with great entrepreneurial ideas and we need to support them to help their businesses succeed.

“There is a confidence issue to overcome as fewer women believe that they have the skills to start a business compared with men.

“The good news is that growth hubs are here to help. By putting the right supporting structures for female entrepreneurs in place, they can find the resources to help develop the skills they need to start or grow their own business.

“We offer a free and impartial service that includes expert advice, support programmes, finance opportunities, and a comprehensive workshop calendarOur friendly team is here to help entrepreneurs reach their potential and grow their business.”

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