It has been estimated that with targeted support female entrepreneurs could contribute a £100bn boost to the UK economy over the next ten years. How we define and develop business support for female entrepreneurs in the future will be key to unlocking this enormous economic potential.
Today, UEL and the UK Economic Blueprint for Women launch an exciting research report that reveals how we can deliver the best business support for female entrepreneurs. See the full report here:
Background: Female entrepreneurship is on the rise in the UK. The proportion of women going into business is increasing and closing the enterprise gender gap. However, the number of women engaged in entrepreneurial activity in Britain is comparatively low with men still twice as likely to be early-stage entrepreneurs as women. This disparity represents an opportunity for the UK, as increasing female participation in entrepreneurship to the same level as men could have a substantial economic impact.
Barriers to successful female enterprise such as accessing finance, confidence in business skills and lack of visible role models are well documented. However, the business support landscape for female entrepreneurs in the UK appears uncoordinated, driven by a patchwork of self-organised networks and short term funded initiatives.
The University of East London and the Pink Shoe Club are working in partnership to enable women to achieve their maximum potential and participate in the country’s economic growth through fostering, supporting and accelerating female led entrepreneurship.
The long-term purpose of this research is to define what ‘female friendly support’ means via the lived experiences of female founders. We asked female business owners how they discovered about support provision, what services they used and if the organisation they received support from was perceived as ‘female friendly’.
Martin Longstaff, UEL Director of Research & Enterprise
I welcome this research which highlights the real-life experiences of the UK’s female entrepreneurs. Its encouraging that so much attention is now being focused on stimulating and supporting women to start and scale their businesses. I hope the UEL EB report will add to the evidence of what is actually needed to support our amazing British female entrepreneurs.
Helene Martin Gee, Pink Shoe Founder & Parliamentary Adviser on Entrepreneurship
UEL EB report: What Constitutes Female Friendly Business Support