In a recent study of 400 businesses, mid-tier firm BDO Stoy Hayward found that only 8% of owner-managers were women. It said the typical entrepreneur was a middle-class, well-educated, 43-year-old married man.
The results compound research published last month that more than half of women in accountancy believe their career prospects are not as good as those of their male colleagues. The latest figures were also published a few days after the Everywoman Business Women on the move conference which found just 33% of business start-ups are headed by women.
BDO Stoy Hayward partner Kathryn Britten said there are so few women in businesses with a turnover of £750,000 and £10m because they lack confidence and are afraid to take risks. She said: ‘There is a tendency for women to set their sights low and not grow their businesses.’
At the Everywoman conference last week keynote, speaker Baroness Symons, minister of trade and industry, highlighted the problems faced in starting up businesses.
She said: ‘The evidence shows women must still overcome more hurdles than men, including discrimination and a difficulty in finding financial and other support. They also face real challenges in balancing work and family life.’
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