Facebook launches initiative to help female entrepreneurs

‘SheMeansBusiness’ campaign follows data which shows the economy could get a £10bn boost if more women were encouraged to start a business

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Facebook has launched a new initiative SheMeansBusiness to help more women start a business – citing female entrepreneurs (and their ability to find venture capital) as being crucial to the UK’s economic success.

New research conducted by Development Economics and YouGov, on behalf of Facebook, found that the UK could potentially unlock £10.01bn if it successfully removed the barriers that prevent more women from starting a business.

In its survey, Facebook found that a lack of self-belief was the main factor for women not starting their own enterprise with three quarters of female respondents unable to identify a female role model running a similar business to the one they wanted to set up.

Aside from financial support and advice (52%), female respondents identified several areas that would help them in their bid to ‘start-up’ including more practical help such as skills workshops (41%), more advice on how to attract customers (39%), a better network of support (35%) and better access to technology and more digital know-how (54%).

Its estimated that by 2020 women could create 340,000 new businesses and over 425,000 jobs – provided the initiative is a success.

Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: “Women make up half the population, they make effective business leaders and unbelievable entrepreneurs, so it’s shocking that more aren’t part of the UK’s small business community today.”

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