Some welcome news for a gloomy Thursday morning: according to a couple of recent reports, increased flexibility is enticing more women to start their own business.
What’s more, the recession seems to have spurred women on to start their own businesses, as they want more control over their own destiny Could this be a sign that the tide is turning? We certainly hope so…
The statistics don't lie: more women are going into business than ever before. Telecoms company XLN Business Services recently announced that in the last three years the north west of England has seen the proportion of female entrepreneurs rise to almost one in five. Nationwide the number of women starting their own businesses has leapt by 10% since the beginning of the recession. Meanwhile, according to a recent survey by BusinessesForSale.com nearly two thirds of women who buy businesses are doing so for the first time, suggesting that more and more women are attracted to running their own enterprise.
So what is driving this change? Adaptability is definitely the keyword for most women. Owning a business allows for working hours that suit you, and being able to work flexibly means less of an issue with childcare (given that this still remains predominantly the responsibility of women). is. The lower cost of running a business at home, coupled with an increasingly competitive jobs market and rising redundancies, means that starting a new business has never been more attractive. And the proliferation of women-only networking events, enabling women to connect and work with likeminded people is just the icing on the cake.
So the signs certainly suggest that things are going in the right direction. But still more can be done to harness the skills and talent of our female entrepreneurs. The fact that one in five business owners in the North West is now a woman may be an improvement on previous years, but it’s still not good enough. The introduction of new government proposals are parental leave and flexible working will certainly help, but there needs to be a shift in mind-set to make sure we’re doing everything we can to help support women who start their own businesses. After all, more female entrepreneurs will mean more jobs, more positive role models and more cash in government coffers. What’s not to like?