Female entrepreneurs are key to economic growth, says FSB

9 Mar

Encouraging more women to run their own businesses, and breaking down the barriers to self-employment, will help grow the economy, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Its report Women in Business. Female entrepreneurship: creating growth and dispelling the myths calls on the Government to promote alternate sources of financing, encourage mentoring, introduce enterprise clubs to facilitate networking, and promote female entrepreneurship role models.

Women-owned business in the UK accounts for £130bn turnover – but the FSB believes it is an untapped economic resource that could help grow the economy. It suggests taking inspiration from the US: if the UK had the level of entrepreneurship as the US, there would be 600,000 more women owned-businesses contributing an additional £42bm to the economy.

FSB national chairman John Walker said: “The number of female entrepreneurs is strikingly low, and yet increasing the number of women who run their own small business will be good for the economy. The US has nurtured female entrepreneurship and now the UK needs to learn from them and do the same.”

A separate report from Delta Economics, Challenges and Opportunities for Growth and Sustainability – Focus on women in the UK and Europe, agrees that the potential in women’s businesses is currently untapped, but women are more likely to face more difficulties in accessing finance. One in five women in the UK has been turned down for a loan – and even if they did get the money, 12% got less than they needed. Women in Europe have nearly double the turnover of UK female businesses, but a third of women-owned businesses in the UK have grown faster than they expected – and 80% are innovative in some way.

The report recommends that UK women need to pursue a market opportunity when launching their business, as well as pursuing their dream.

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