More than one third of women say lack of funding is the biggest barrier to setting up a business

35% of women say they do not have the financial means to set up their own business, according to a new study by Tide.

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Gender continues to be a barrier for entrepreneurship, with more than a third of women saying they don’t have the financial means to set up their own business, according to a new survey.

The study from Tide, the business financial platform, was commissioned to look into female entrepreneurship in the UK, and the reasons why women are hesitant about setting up their own businesses.

Of those surveyed, only 18% of women said they would consider setting up a business – compared to 29% of men.

One factor that could be influencing these figures is that women are more likely to start a business following a career break or working part-time. In comparison, male entrepreneurs are more likely to start a business while working full-time, and on firmer financial footing.

Other barriers flagged by women respondents were that the risk was too high (24%) and they did not have the confidence (15%).

Encouragingly, the research also shows that the number of self-employed women has increased by 148% since the start of records in 1984, jumping from 646,000, to 1.6 million in 2020. However, despite these gains, there are still just under twice as many self-employed men as women (3.02 million).

Lize Haskell, Chief Administrative Officer at Tide, said: “Our research reveals that the number of self-employed women has increased by 148% since 1984, with over 1.6 million women in self-employment in the UK today. It’s great to see how women have made huge strides in entrepreneurship in recent years, with more female-fronted businesses than ever before.

“Starting your own business and taking that first step into entrepreneurship can be daunting, but there is lots of support and initiatives out there to help empower you. At Tide, we have set ourselves the target of helping 50,000 women in starting their business by the end of 2022.”

Want to know more about turning your business idea into reality? Read our comprehensive guide for how to start a business.

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

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