Female entrepreneurs turn to the high street

Data Insights 20 February 2014

The UK’s high streets have seen an incredible number of women starting up businesses, according to new figures from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Some 49.5 per cent of small firms created in the past two years in retail, or hotels, catering and leisure, are owned primarily by women, which marks a dramatic contrast from the situation two decades ago.

In 1994, in fact, just 24 per cent of these businesses were primarily female owned.

More specifically, research conducted by the FSB observed that women business owners are less likely to take financial risks. The report notes that women in this scenario borrow an average of £18,700 for their business, as compared to £28,800 borrowed by male business owners.

Women are also more likely to work for a micro business than larger firms, the report said.

Reflecting on the research, John Allan, national chairman of the FSB, said, “How fantastic to see women in particular taking a leading role on UK high streets. The UK’s town centres look a lot different today than even five years ago. We really need to keep small businesses at the heart of the local community generating wealth, employment and opportunity. We are witnessing a welcome change with more women entrepreneurs establishing businesses than at any time before. And it is striking how this trend seems to be speeding up since the recession – it shows many women have the guts and a real entrepreneurial spirit.”

This comes shortly after prime minister David Cameron scrapped thousands of rules affecting businesses in the UK, in a move designed to encourage growth.

More than 3,000 rules have either been abolished or changed, saving as much as £850 million a year.

Mr Cameron explained that he was determined to remove obstacles that stand in the way of progression for the country’s small business community.

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