Local Women’s Enterprise support agency The Women’s Organisation has welcomed the FSB report ‘Women in Enterprise: The Untapped Potential’ calling it “a welcome confirmation of what we have been campaigning for”.
Launched recently the report offers key recommendations to boost women’s entrepreneurship across the UK, bringing an evidence based approach to the case for gendered focus in enterprise.
FSB spoke to over 1900 women business owners in the UK. It found key challenges included balancing work and family life (40%), achieving credibility for the business (37%) and a lack of confidence (22%). All of these are limiting women’s ability to start, run and grow their businesses.
Based on the findings the key recommendations from the report include:
· Developing a Framework for Women’s Enterprise for the UK
· Improving Access to Finance
· Raising Awareness of Support
· Improving Diversity in Procurement Practices
· Increasing the visibility of role models for women business owners
· Equalising maternity pay
CEO of The Women’s Organisation Maggie O’Carroll welcomed the findings, showing whole hearted support for the FSB’s recommendations saying; “Research and reports of this nature are essential for tackling the issues facing women in enterprise. This is not just a women’s issue, it is an economic issue. At present women are a vastly under represented group when it comes to enterprise, and therefore are an untapped resource for supporting the UK economy as a whole. These recommendations fit firmly with our aims as an organisation as we continue to see these common themes raised by the women we work with every day. Not recognising that women need a tailored approach to enterprise is a massive mistake we cannot afford to make.”
Helen Walbey, FSB Diversity Policy Chair, said: “Women-led smaller businesses already contribute over £75 billion to the UK economy. But less than one in five (18%) of businesses are majority run by women. If women were to set up businesses and grow them at the same rate as men, we would see a huge boost to growth and prosperity in this country. In fact, the Government estimates it could add £600 billion to the economy. Everyone should have the same chance to succeed in business. Understanding the importance of diversity and getting more women into business is critical for a dynamic and vibrant small business sector. That’s why we need to work out what the barriers are for women and break them down one by one.”
Maggie O’Carroll is urging city leaders to sit up and take note if they want the Liverpool City Region to lead the way in enterprise support.