WWomen make up only between 14% & 24% of people launching companies and the percentage of those that attract investors is even lower.
Not enough women launch startups!
The stereotype is that the tech industry is dominated by male hipsters and techno whizz-kids wearing T-shrts and trainers. Sadly the stereotype is largely true. In contrast entrepreneur women often bring diversity and a fresh perspective to the market.
While we recognise the need to galvanise the UK economy in the post Brexit world via ingenuity; little is being done to decrease the growing gender divide in the realm of startups. The irony is that embracing diversity delivers better results in terms of innovation and entrepreneurial zeal.
According to the Guardian newspaper;
Female-led companies drive three times the returns of companies predominantly led by men. What’s more, female CEOs are leading the push for inclusive leadership, creating companies where all staff can thrive and drive innovation.
While we wait for the education system to catch up with the needs of the economy we need to find ways of inspiring women to get into business. Part of the problem is surely that the role models we so often cite in business are male, middle-aged and sometimes downright sexist. Consider the former host of the American version of The Apprentice for a clue...
There are just under a million small businesses in the UK led by women and yet that's less than 20% of the total. Success stories do exist- Julie Dean of the Cambridge Satchel Company started up in 2008 with only £600. And while the Aspire Fund offered support to female-led enterprises they are no longer considering new investments.
Alice Hall of Pink Boutique started selling dresses online with £90 and now operates from a 30000 square foot premises in Newcastle and sells internationally. With well over a million faceboook fans and over 50 staff Alice is an true inspiration.
Despite a growing number of success stories, particularly in the USA, more needs to be done to redress the balance. One thing is for sure- if we want UK PLC to thrive we need to get more women into business.