Women shun self-employed careers

The number of women in the UK choosing to embark on a self-employed career has fallen since the millennium, a CBI study has revealed.

Obtained by The Daily Telegraph, the study shows that the percentage of start-ups run by women has slumped from 27.7 per cent in 2000, to 26.7 per cent today.

If start-ups continue at their current rate, almost twice as many men as women expect to launch their own business venture over the next three years, suggesting the trend of fewer female entrepreneurs will continue.

The ominous verdict reinforces a recent warning from finance experts at FDA, who say female entrepreneurship in London is being hampered by a lack of available finance schemes.

At the time, the group hinted that that the state’s aim of attracting more women to ‘go it alone’ may be compounded by their tendency to regard advice from experts as no more important than advice from friends or family.

Gail Smallpage, of Cattles Invoice Finance, a small business specialist, reportedly said this week that the situation is made even worse for enterprising women by high street banks being less likely to back their business.

“Raising money for creation of a new business and the ongoing cashflow requirements are two of the biggest headaches for small business owners,” she said.

“It is disappointing to think that this is made even harder by the banks for female entrepreneur.”

To help close the gap between self-employed men and women, the CBI is said to have recommended more enterprise education and a higher profile for mentoring schemes.

Even more helpful is the British Library’s forthcoming seminar entitled Desperately Seeking Finance, which will give 250 people the chance to quiz a panel of experts on where and how finance can be sourced.

The free event, to beheld on Monday June 26, will also reveal the secrets of tailoring a funding pitch for delivery to banks, business angels and venture capitalists alike.

The evening seminar will end with a speed networking session, designed to give attendees a chance to meet fellow business owners and quiz the experts, including speakers from HSBC, MMC Ventures, ACIB and Business Link, on a one-to-one basis.


9th June 2006

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