Latest research has revealed that women are increasingly becoming the job creators and growth drivers in the UK.
The report ‘Supporting Women’s Enterprise in the UK: The Economic Case’, compiled by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), revealed that women-owned businesses are now calculated to contribute an incredible £105bn to the UK economy, an increase of 40% since comprehensive data was last collected and analysed. This equates to women-owned businesses contributing £36k Gross Value Add (GVA) for each person they employ, 6.3% of total UK GVA.
However, despite the rise in female founders overall, the proportionate contribution from women-owned businesses in manufacturing has declined. Worryingly, the report findings show that over the period studied (2012-2015) there has been a reduction in the contribution of the manufacturing sector to women-owned businesses’ GVA (from 14.9% to 11%) and proportion of employment (from 8.7% to 7.1%).
The FSB says that this is concerning considering that manufacturing is a relatively high profit sector. Interestingly, a larger proportion of women-owned businesses are in the care sector which has low profit.
The report was launched at Facebook’s Community Boost event earlier this month where attendees were invited to join a series of free-to-enter workshops and talks designed to help boost their digital skills, expand their networks and grow their businesses both here in the UK and further afield.
Commenting on the launch of the report with Facebook, Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s VP EMEA said, “We all have a role to play in addressing the diversity imbalances that exist around the world. It’s unacceptable that our culture is still hard-wired against women in leadership roles. Until that changes we need to find ways to get behind the women who want to step forward and lead, to give them the skills and courage to succeed.”
Lina Bourdon, FSB’s Women in Enterprise lead, added, “Developing and supporting women’s enterprise is proven to be critically important for economic prosperity. The Government must now address this untapped potential with a range of suitable measures, such as career advice, role models, and access to business support and finance.”
Carolyn Currie, CEO of Women’s Enterprise Scotland, which compiled the report for FSB, commented, “Our research shows that women-owned businesses are providing critical employment in communities across the UK and now represent 11% of total private sector employment. We must ensure that this momentum continues and we are calling for economic development organisations to step forward and provide the needs based support that these businesses need to continue growing. With dedicated resources and support, women-owned businesses have the opportunity to harness the momentum already created and continue to grow their economic impact and value across all areas of the UK and all sectors.”
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