Women’s influence grows in start-ups

Performing a successful juggling act in managing work and family commitments, women now own one in three small businesses with a turnover less than £1m, according to findings from a report Women in Business, complied by Barclays. The survey shows that, with the slow rise in the number of ‘new men’, women face challenges in running businesses since 80% are responsible for looking after children.

And where there are no children under 16, 82% of women compared to 27% of men take care of the housework as well.

Patricia Hewitt, MP for small business and e-commerce, said: ‘The review shows the progress women are making in business. But it also highlights difficulties women sometimes face. These issues give us food for thought.’

Accountant and former chairman of the ICAEW tax faculty, Anita Monteith, training provider director of start-up World of Training, that she and partners launched last April, said the research came as no surprise.

‘Women are well-placed to take part of what they did before maternity leave and set it up in a new format,’ said Monteith.

She attributed the trend of mothers setting up on their own as a result of a break from work, allowing them to ‘take stock’ during maternity leave.

Flexibility and a better quality of life were cited as reasons for becoming their own boss. Some 15% of women run their businesses on a part-time basis, meaning they are less likely to be the family breadwinner.


To read more on Barclays’ report visit

Interview with Anita Monteith

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