PARIS: The figures speak for themselves – British women set up more than 150,000 businesses in 2022, according to figures from trade association Small Business Britain relayed by The Independent. That’s twice as many as in 2018.
This increase in the rate of female entrepreneurship is all the more remarkable given that many women faced additional challenges during the pandemic, particularly with regard to childcare.
But in fact, these unique circumstances have made them even more keen to start their own business.
Of the British women entrepreneurs surveyed by Small Business Britain, 39% said they had chosen self-employed status to ensure a better work-life balance.
It’s a surprising choice, given that setting up a business often involves long working hours that are not well-suited to family life.
Some 49% of Americans running a small business work at least 44 hours a week, according to a 2009 Gallup Institute survey. At that rhythm, it can be hard to keep up with all your social and family commitments.
But that’s not discouraging very many of the women who want to become entrepreneurs. Mothers who make this choice are commonly referred to as “mompreneurs”.
Many of those who call themselves mompreneurs say that being self-employed allows them to take better care of their families, as French sociologist Julie Landour explains in her book “Sociologie des Mompreneurs” (The Sociology of Mompreneurs).
The large-scale rise of remote work has a lot to do with this, as it theoretically allows these individuals to better manage their time.
The desire for greater independence is one of the main reasons why women entrepreneurs set up their own business.
Three out of 10 British women say they became entrepreneurs because they wanted to work where they wanted, while 25% say they made the decision after the birth of their child(ren).
Whatever the reason behind their decision, Michelle Ovens, founder of Small Business Britain, is delighted to see so many women taking the plunge into entrepreneurship.
“It is uplifting to hear that most women are happier for taking the plunge into entrepreneurship and are seeing immeasurable benefits in their lives,” she told The Independent.
Of course, entrepreneurship is not without challenges, particularly for women. They are often faced with a lack of financial resources, whether in the form of bank loans or private sources of finance.
Among other things, this can lead to the underperformance of businesses set up by women, reinforcing the gender stereotype that entrepreneurship is inherently a more masculine activity.
The feeling of a lack of legitimacy can also hinder women’s entrepreneurial ambitions, as can barriers they may encounter when it comes to networking.
It is, therefore, vital that decision-makers and public authorities address these issues to guarantee entrepreneurial freedom for all.