There has been a recent surge in female business start-ups, however, men are still twice as likely to go into business than women, is the gender gap narrowing?
A study by Aston University and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) has found that between 2003-6 and 2013-16, the amount of women that went into business rose by 45%, compared to just 27% of men choosing to start-up a company. Despite this rise, men are still almost twice as likely to be entrepreneurs with 10.4% of men versus 5.5% of women.
Looking at the data, there are regional imbalances, with some areas seeing a greater balance of female business owners than others. Although the gender gap is narrowing statistically, further research has found that women in business feel that their gender has impacted on their career, with one in three female innovators believing this is a negative impact.
Research has also found the following;
– If the amount of female innovators increased to the same level as their male counterparts, women-led SMEs could bring a £180 Billion boost to our UK economy by the time we reach 2025.
– The number of Women who are engaged in entrepreneurial activity is currently around half that of men.
Innovate UK are holding an exhibition at Getty Images Gallery in London from the 18th to the 29th of July, with the intention of challenging perceptions of female entrepreneurs. The exhibition’s aim is to redefine common ideas about innovation, breaking down the barriers and presenting the next generation of female entrepreneurs as positive role models.
Dr. Ruth McKernan CBE, Chief Executive of Innovate UK, said:
“Half of the world’s population are female. To consider how many of these talented women are held back from participating in entrepreneurial activity is deeply frustrating, particularly as research shows that harnessing the skills of women entrepreneurs could significantly enhance UK economic growth. More so, the participation of women in the innovation ecosystem is crucial to the development of work that will truly change the world.”
The research group at Aston University collated the UK regional entrepreneurship rates over a number of years in order to provide a more robust and fully representative sample of the gender gap, rather than basing their findings on individual years alone.