WOMEN IN BUSINESS
Its a Global Trend!
A global phenomenon is emerging, there is has been a dramatic rise in the number of women starting their own business. In the revolution of women entrepreneurs, the fastest growing segment are mothers, also known as ‘mumpreneurs’. Of the 27% of self-employed people in the UK are women.
Of all the new women business owners, 50% are mothers. These are a new generation of women who have conquered the task of managing the raising of a family and building successful businesses.
Some define a ‘mumpreneur’ as a woman who seeks and recognises business opportunities, raises the necessary capital, launches the business and runs the business successfully while bringing up children, managing the household chores. This need-driven phenomenon is taking the multi-dimensional and multi-tasking abilities of women to new heights. For single women, the option of starting their own business means they are longer having to decide between work and having a family but the freedom to do both.
The Quiet Revolution?
“There is a revolution going on in the world and it’s coming from the grass roots. It’s the revolution of the sustainable entrepreneurs, mainly women, and it’s about personal growth as well as an economic tool.
It’s the feminine way to create business.”
Quote by Lynne Franks
(Founder of SEED- Sustainable Enterprise and Empowerment Dynamics- www.seednetwork.com)
Entrepreneur Magazine is America's leading business magazine. It has a section specifically on female entrepreneurs and explores gender in business.
Why is gender an issue in business?
Government research indicates that although some women experience difficulties staying in long term employment or starting their own businesses, it’s really during motherhood that most experience difficulties. For some, when they become a mother, they soon find their priorities have changed, their time is spent juggling many duties and after a while feel as if they have lost their identity, along with any free time they can devote to things they want to achieve.
Prowess, is one the UK's leading organisations that promotes women’s enterprise. Its research shows that women don’t necessarily identify themselves as entrepreneurs, many dislike business terms like ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘networking’. Dr Lois Frankel, author of ‘Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office’ and ‘Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich’ says some women don’t feel bold enough to call themselves leaders. While not all women think or feel this way, it is safe to say for most women, their business aspirations and perception of an entrepreneur is different from that of men’s.
For the UK as a whole, women are more likely than men to start a social enterprise. (5.8% of women compared to 4.9% of men- Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Focus on Social Entrepreneurs, GEM 2004) They are already heavily involved in community activities and are then more motivated to develop it into formal status.
However, all this talk of ‘having-it-all’ doesn’t necessarily mean these women have the all the answers, especially for those on lower income, having-it-all means doing-it-all themselves. The debate on whether a woman can have-it-all still depends on what goals each woman is trying to achieve. The challenges are even more so about having enough quality time and maintaining a work/life balance, but advancement on technology means women have more ways to start their own business and control of their options. Some women are content and deliberately restrict the growth of their businesses in order to keep the balance they worked so hard to achieve.
WHAT THE UK GOVERNMENT IS DOING ABOUT WOMEN'S ENTERPRISE?
“Women entrepreneurs could play a bigger role in the UK economy, creating jobs and boosting growth as well as reducing gender inequality,” according to the government women’s enterprise ambassador Lorely Burt. Her review into women in enterprise, concludes that small changes to the way that business support is planned and delivered will help many more women succeed in starting and growing their own business.
The Burt Report outlines how design flaws in current services act as barriers to women. “We need to encourage government and business to think inclusively at all times. We must also break unnecessary barriers between entrepreneurs and the support they need to succeed,” says Lorely Burt, who is also the Liberal Democrat MP for Solihull.
Read the article in full on the Prowess website:
' Inclusive Support for Women in Enterprise: The Burt Report' (http://www.prowess.org.uk/inclusive-support-women-enterprise-burt)
Read the THE BURT REPORT here in full on the government website www.gov.uk
WHAT IS GOING ON
IN THE WORLD?
Find out about the global perspective on the
Women Entrepreneurship Platform
•National organisations of women entrepreneurs
•International organisations of women entrepreneurs
•Networks Promoting women's entrepreneurship
•Projects Promoting women entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurship
•Events related to women entrepreneurship
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