A man is still twice as likely to start a business as a woman. Of those women who are running small enterprises, they are less likely to receive investment than male-run firms despite running more profitable businesses.
Albeit an improvement, women in business still face gender-shaped hurdles. With the gender pay gap in the UK just shy of 10%, men are still being paid more than women for the doing the same job.
Women are also at a disadvantage when it comes to financial access. Evidence has shown there is currently a lack of female angel investors, while female-led startups also receive less funding than male micro business owners, despite putting together stronger proposals.
Alongside this, 52% of women have received some form of sexual harassment in the workplace and despite efforts to raise awareness, 80% of victims still never report the misconduct (TUC).
Read more about the business landscape for female founders:
Despite the structural and cultural challenges – with men twice as likely to start a business than women – female founders are rapidly narrowing the so-called “enterprise gap”.
In the decade between 2003 to 2006 and 2013 to 2016, the proportion of women at the helm of early-stage businesses grew by 45 per cent, putting the UK above the European average in terms of female startups.
Optimism is also running high among the next generation of female-run enterprises. In 2017, over three-quarters of millennial founders expected annual growth, compared to 52 per cent of their baby boomer counterparts.
Find out why things are starting to shift:
Business Advice therefore thought it was vital to build a series which celebrated the achievements of women in the micro business world and to play a part in constructing a community for hard-working women.
To achieve this, we will be profiling inspirational businesswomen to find out more about their entrepreneurial journeys whilst discussing some of the struggles they face in today’s industry.
We will be interviewing women founders across all sectors, beginning with tech entrepreneur Daria Kantor, founder of Uber-style fitness app TruBe.
Next week, Karen Thomson, who founded the KAM network of hair and body spas 25 years ago, will reveal how she turned her award-winning business into one of the leading salons in the North of Scotland.
Yulia Rorstrom, founder of London’s best-loved blowdry bars Duck & Dry, will also be discussing how she ditched her job in the city to begin franchising her own beauty business.
We’re inviting Britain’s women micro business owners to have their stories heard. To nominate yourself or somebody else for our weekly series, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
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