In entrepreneurship and the world of work, women have faced a number of barriers to achieving success. But today’s ‘post-pandemic’ world and the UK’s cost-of-living crisis have emboldened a new generation of female founders who are determined to break these barriers. We recently conducted research that showed that businesses launched in the last 12 months were 46% female-owned and 53% male-owned. This compares to the much larger gender gap in microbusinesses ownership in general whereby 38% are female-owned and 60% are male-owned. These stats highlight that changing societal, work and economic conditions in the last couple of years have given female-owned microbusinesses some momentum.
Let’s be honest though, many of the barriers stopping women from launching businesses have not disappeared. Aspiring female business owners are often apprehensive of the cost and time commitment launching a business would entail. Many women believe setting up their own business will cost a fortune. Half (52%) of women believe set-up costs would be their main obstacle – but the reality is almost three quarters (72%) of female founders actually started their business for less than £1,000.
The cost-of-living crisis is forcing people to look at their finances, with many considering launching their own business or side hustle to achieve greater financial independence. Our research shows women are leading the way; 78% of female entrepreneurs believe there are more opportunities for women owning a business rather than working for someone else.
Often the reality of life responsibilities can make it harder for women to become their own bosses. A whopping four in five (82%) women said they are responsible for most domestic household duties, half (48%) said they couldn’t find the time to start a business, while 44% said the costs and expectations associated with childcare made it impossible for them to start their own business. Almost half (46%) of women surveyed said they have children under 18.
Many women believe setting up their own business will cost a fortune. Half (52%) of women believe set-up costs would be their main obstacle – but the reality is almost three quarters (72%) of female founders actually started their business for less than £1,000.
The future of female entrepreneurship
Will the shift to flexible working patterns help create a better gender balance of household duties and could this mean women could become freer to dedicate to launching their own business? Who knows – but we know many of our customers have made their dreams a reality.
One female entrepreneur who has overcome challenging circumstances to set-up a thriving microbusiness is Catherine Sweet, founder of Bobcat Gallery. Catherine has set-up a thriving microbusiness selling small-scale, original artworks at affordable prices. And she’s achieved great success.
She says: “Caring responsibilities towards members of my family held me back from starting my own business for a long time. I was always passionate about making art buying more inclusive and affordable while showcasing emerging artists. While being a carer I could never find the time, resources or mental space. When my situation changed and my former employer went through a restructure, I decided to take a leap of faith and follow my dream. I worked on the launch of the Bobcat Gallery website, which has enabled me to grow my business and establish credibility in the art world.
The advice I’d give to women who want to launch their own business is: if something scares you, it’s probably for a good reason. The fear is telling you to try something new – don’t be afraid to go out and meet people, speak up for yourself, and tear up the business plan if it’s not working. Becoming your own boss will enable you to become more confident and assertive and teach you invaluable skills not only to grow your business, but for life.”
At GoDaddy, we pride ourselves on helping all entrepreneurs thrive, and we are saluting women like Catherine who are achieving great success despite the difficulties. They really are unstoppable.