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.

Helena Young
Helena Young Senior Writer

Helena "Len" Young is from Yorkshire and joined Startups in 2021 from a background in B2B communications. She has also previously written for a popular fintech startup.

Included in her topics of interest and expertise are tax legislation, the levelling up agenda, and organisational software including CRM and project management systems. As well as this, she is a big fan of the films of Peter Jackson.

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