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 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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