New Report on Women in Enterprise Launched by The Federation of Small Businesses

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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has launched a new report ‘Women in Enterprise: The Untapped Potential’. The report explores the specific challenges faced by women-led businesses and makes recommendations for improving support, developing mentoring networks, and increasing the diversity of business ambassadors. The key recommendations mentioned in the report include:

  • Development of a framework for women's enterprise
  • Improving access to finance
  • Improved data collection on business ownership
  • Raising awareness of support
  • Increasing the visibility of role models for women business owners
  • Equalising maternity pay
  • Equalising maternity pay

Today, only one in five UK small businesses are majority woman-owned and contribute over £75 billion to the UK economy. If women set up businesses at the same rate as men, there would be a significant boost to economic growth in the UK.

While the report finds women-led businesses face many of the same challenges all small firms encounter - including cash flow issues (42%), and difficulty accessing finance (25%), it shows there are still specific and persistent barriers for too many women when setting up and growing their own businesses, included balancing work and family life (40%), achieving credibility for the business (37%) and a lack of confidence (22%).

The report calls for a cultural shift towards equality in business. To further the recommendations of the report, FSB plans to launch a dedicated ‘Women in Enterprise Taskforce’ to support woman entrepreneurs and business owners. The new taskforce will develop a series of regional events, networking opportunities and work with existing regional networks to get to the root of the problem.

Small firms already make a huge contribution to our economy; if we were to harness the still largely untapped potential of women entrepreneurship, it could lead to additional jobs, economic growth and a more diverse and representative small business community.

The FSB report references both the Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Code of Conduct and the Burt Report, which champion an increased focus on supplier diversity here in the UK and Europe.

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