New research reveals that just one in nine businesses started by women fail, compared to a sixth of those started by men
There can be no argument that it’s important to tackle some of the obstacles that discourage women from starting up their own businesses. But, whilst increased diversity certainly provides much-needed resilience amongst the entrepreneurial community, sometimes it’s difficult to find hard data on the strengths of female-run businesses. Fortunately, new research has revealed just how vital a force female-led enterprises can be.
According to a survey of 500 business leaders commissioned by private bank Kleinwort Benson, the private banking and wealth management firm, and conducted by YouGov, women are more likely to be successful in their entrepreneurial endeavours than men. The research revealed that 11% women have failed in their attempts to set up a successful business, compared to 17% of men.
Despite this, it seems that women actually have to overcome more adversity when setting up a business, with 42% saying they have had to overcome obstacles, contrasted with just 32% of men. Perhaps down to an awareness of the tougher landscape they face, female entrepreneurs also have less confidence than their male counterparts, with 40% of women but only 36% of men admitting to a fear of failure.
“In our experience, female entrepreneurs tend to be more risk averse and position themselves better to create long-term value,” said Paul Bentley, head of entrepreneurs at Kleinwort Benson. “This is beneficial in two ways. Firstly, they often avoid the pitfalls that befall early stage businesses. Secondly, their businesses will have demonstrated a more consistent track record and they will be more attractive to potential acquirers."
He added: "Overall, we can see that women are increasingly embracing entrepreneurship and are successfully overcoming obstacles, such as funding, late payments and generating sales, to become models of entrepreneurial growth.”
Evidently then, the UK could reap a huge economic benefit by tackling the barriers facing female entrepreneurs.