Many financial analysts believe that women are not fulfilling their aspirations and more could, and should be done to help women follow their dreams, which would provide a significant boost to the UK’s economy. Women represent a significant proportion of the workforce, but the number of female small business owners is alarmingly limited.
As of 2016, SMEs accounted for 99.9% of all private sector businesses and employed 60% of the private sector workforce. But despite these staggering figures, women are not proportionally represented in job creation and wealth. It’s estimated that 10% of working women want to take the plunge and start their own business, but statistics indicate that only 1 in 5 small businesses in the UK are in fact run by women. We can see a similar pattern among our small business clients, showing a clear male dominance and change is certainly needed, but few have done anything to address the problem – until now.
The US-based social media giant Facebook has recently teamed up with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) here in the UK, to address the barriers women face in setting-up their own businesses. Facebook understands its role in helping businesses maximise their commercial opportunities with over 50 million small business owners using Facebook on a daily-basis to reach existing and potential customers.
Both Facebook and the FSB believe the main barrier for women is an inherent lack of self-belief and confidence, and they suggest they know why. When women were asked to identify a female role-model doing what they would like to do, 3 out of 4 women were unable to, implying that if others can’t do it, then neither could they.
We estimate that if 20% of women that wanted to start a business did so, it could potentially unlock over £10 billion into the UK economy and create 400,000 jobs by the end of the decade.
So to help empower women, Facebook, alongside the FSB and British Chamber of Commerce, has developed She Means Business, an initiative giving women the training and support to start-up in business. It comprises useful tools, inspirational advice, online learning sessions and access to crucial events across the country.
The She Means Business programme has already attracted widespread praise following its launch in helping women celebrate their successful business, and delivering key resources to those that one day may do the same.
If you’re a woman looking to take the plunge and start-up in business, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.