Rise in female entrepreneurs “taking charge” of the high street

Data from the Federation of Small Businesses suggests 49% increase in women starting-up

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  • Megan Dunsby

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has released figures reporting more women starting a high street business than any time before, with 49.5% of hotel, retail, catering and leisure start-ups launched in the last two years owned primarily by women.

Based on over 8,000 responses through its 2013 ‘Voice of Small Business’ member survey, the data reflects a major increase of women in business when compared to an earlier FSB survey carried out 20 years ago, where only 24% of high street companies were female-owned.

Its latest findings also claim to demonstrate a turnaround from the economic downturn in 2008, with 47% of high street outlets launched since the recession led by women.

Representing a “wider shift across the UK” of female entrepreneurs driving economic growth in Britain’s town centres, the research also reported women business owners far less likely to take financial risks compared to their male counterparts, with women borrowing an average £18,700 and men £28,800.

Commenting on the findings, John Allan, national chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “How fantastic to see more women in business; 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.”

Megan Dunsby

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