While the UK is one of the best places in the world to grow a business, women are half as likely as men to be involved in starting one.
It was this that inspired Robert Jenrick, the Exchequer Secretary, to last year launch a review into female entrepreneurship, and vowed to break down barriers.
Only one in five small and medium-sized employers are being run by women – creating a significant pool of untapped entrepreneurial potential.
Leading British businesswoman, Alison Rose, who is the Chief Executive of RBS Commercial and Private Banking, lead the government review to identify the extent of these barriers and explore what can be done to overcome them.
Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, commented back in September 2018: “The fact that Britain is home to so many new, innovative businesses is something to be proud of. But the fact that so few of them are started by women is shocking. This is not because of a lack of talent or appetite.
“Therefore, it’s vital that we identify the barriers that are hampering entrepreneurial women from securing the backing that businessmen have taken for granted.
“Alison’s vast experience in investment banking will be invaluable to helping us level the playing field and empower even more talent in our economy.
Rose, who has now released the 125-page report, said: “If we want to strengthen the UK’s position as one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business, then no-one can be left behind.
“Unfortunately, statistics show that women make up only a third of all entrepreneurs in the UK – to better drive the UK’s economy, we need to understand, and tackle, the barriers and reasons as to why this is – more can be done to support women in enterprise. I am looking forward to working with the Treasury on this important initiative.”
Kiran Trehan, Professor of Leadership and Enterprise Development at the University of Birmingham commented on the report: “The challenges that women face in starting and running their own businesses is nothing new, for ethic minority women this requires negotiating not only this unpromising landscape but also further barriers that remain invisible.
“The key for addressing these challenges goes beyond access to finance our research highlights the importance of working with a variety of stakeholders and networks to enhance productive engagement. Our findings have highlighted the benefits of business and peer to peer mentoring as a vehicle for addressing the constraints on the scale up and performance of female enterprises.”