Female entrepreneurs have a tougher time, report claims

Findings released on the eve of International Women’s Day

Women setting up their own businesses in the UK face more challenges than men, according to a new report. Research commissioned by online accountants Crunch revealed today that more than half of female entrepreneurs take responsibility for at least 75% of the childcare duties at home – on top of the time-commitment of running their own business. By contrast, a third of male entrepreneurs admitted to providing less than a quarter of their children’s care. Similarly, nearly one in 10 female business owners said getting people to take them seriously was the biggest challenge they faced when starting up. However, they were united with their male counterparts in finding managing the books (35%) and cashflow (32%) the main hurdles when setting up their business. Despite these challenges, the number of female entrepreneurs in the UK is rising, the report revealed. Figures show a 12% increase in 2011 – meaning female entrepreneurs now make up 7% of the country’s working population. Nearly a third of all UK businesses are now owned by women. The study, which was released on the eve of International Women’s Day, further revealed that the main motivation for women to start their own business is to have more financial independence (34%). This was closely followed by a desire to have greater control of their work/life balance. Helen Long, head of marketing at Crunch, said the findings underlined “the importance of flexibility to women in the UK,” adding: “It’s good to see flexible working as a driving force for industry and no longer a barrier to a successful career.”

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