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.
Only one in five small and medium-sized employers are being run by women – creating a significant pool of untapped entrepreneurial potential.
How do we break down these entrenched hierarchies? One solution is to empower women to start up their own businesses and be their own bosses right from the start.
Women should feel as comfortable, confident and inspired as menBeth KingCommunications Manager, Locate East Sussex
They are also more cautious about starting or scaling up a business, limiting their willingness to risk their livelihood on an uncertain venture.
There have been a number of recent studies identifying that access to funding, suitable mentorship and a strong network are key requirements of female entrepreneurs. As the recent Rose Review found, women are 55% more likely than men to cite fear of going it alone as a primary reason for not starting a business.
Women are also less likely to believe they possess entrepreneurial skills: Only 39% of women are confident in their capabilities to start a business compared to 55% of men. This is a perceived gap in ability, rather than an actual gap in skill sets. In addition, many of the women too often credit other people for their success and dismiss their own achievements.
Support for people thinking about starting a business has reduced significantly in the last year, and here fewer than 6% of working age women are currently engaged in early entrepreneurial stage activity in comparison to over 10% of men, the need for targeted, specific support is even more important.
To make entrepreneurship more accessible for women and to increase support for female start-ups locally, Let’s Do Business, the local Growth Hub and NatWest have teamed up to provide a new business support programme Her Biz for women based in East Sussex to overcome some of the barriers they face when thinking about taking the plunge.
The course in Hastings runs over 3 group sessions with talks by inspiring female entrepreneurs including; Sarah Jones, Director and Founder of Wilderness PR and Sarah Richard, Founder of Girls that Scuba, the world's largest female scuba dive community, based in Hastings, as well as further one-to-one mentoring sessions with our expert business advisers. The group will be approx. 10-15 women.
All the services delivered under this scheme are FREE of charge as they are part-funded by NatWest and the European Regional Development Fund.
It’s clear that tailored support from specialists who understand the different challenges that female business owners face, as well as the way they think and run their business, makes a real difference to success rates.Alison Rose CEO of commercial and private banking at NatWest, and author of the Rose Review review.
Her Biz is an inspiring female business support programme designed specifically for women based in East Sussex to start and establish their own businesses. You can be currently employed or unemployed or already have a business, as long as you haven't registered yet with HMRC.
The programme includes help with: creating a vision for your business, learning about the skills and mindset required to start your business, defining your target market, developing a marketing plan, social media and PR, everything financial, plus much more.
By the end of the course, you will have increased your confidence, developed your business skills and created a business plan. On completion, the applicant with the most promising business plan will WIN £1000 towards the cost of setting up their business.