Following the release of the Rose Review Progress Report – which highlights the extra support required for female led businesses to thrive – the ‘Taskforce on Women-Led High-Growth Enterprises’ has been brought into effect. The taskforce chaired by Anne Bowden, has incited 134 financial institutions with an investing power of nearly £1 trillion to sign up to the Investing in Women Code.
The government backed initiative aims to give female entrepreneurs the tools to take their businesses to the next level by helping provide access to finance and growth capital, increase technological adoption, and improve leadership skills. According to the report, if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men, up to £250bn of new value could be added to the UK economy. However, new landmark research from business consultancy QU – experts in mentorship for female and ethnic minority owned businesses – found that empowering women in business requires more than increasing tech skills and access to finance as 27% of British women state they have no support role whom they feel comfortable taking guidance from.
QU commissioned the unique study to better understand the lack of support networks that hinder female founded businesses to successfully scale. The research found that 19% of British female entrepreneurs don’t have support from their families to carry out their business endeavors with a striking 21% of British women stating they felt like an outcast from their family and community for having different career aspirations. The data highlights that 1 in 5 women are marginalised from what should be their strongest support foundations – their family and community.
- 27% of British women state they have no support role whom they feel comfortable to take guidance from
- 19% of British women agreed that their family do not support their entrepreneurial business endeavours
- 21% of British women state they’ve always felt like an outcast in their family and community for having different career aspirations to their families and the wider community
- 31% of British women state they don’t know where to source investment opportunities to grow their business
- 25% of British women feel they’re taken less seriously as a business leader
Marla Ubhi – Co-Founder of QU – argues that, while a taskforce is a leap towards creating a more inclusive business ecosystem, gender inequality in the UK business arena remains rife, according to the government’s equalities office only 1 in 3 UK entrepreneurs is a woman – the gender gap is equivalent to 1.1 million missing businesses, and male-led SMEs are five times more likely to scale up to £1 million turnover than female-led SMEs. QU’s data indicates that by applying a holistic approach which addresses the different social factors which hinder female founded businesses from scaling, as well as reducing financial barriers, will help the UK reach their gender equality objectives much faster.