In 2016, a meager nine percent of investment money went into UK startups that were founded by women. The study discovered that male entrepreneurs found it much easier to raise both angel investment and venture capital funding. Males are 86 percent more probable compared to their female counterparts to get venture funding and about 56 percent more probable to obtain money from angel investors.
It is apparent that Britain has a deep resource of entrepreneurial potential which continues to remain untapped. The female working population in the United Kingdom went up from 3.7 percent in 2009 to 7.1 percent in 2012. However, the number of working women have dropped since. If only female entrepreneurs would have been encouraged and maintained, the British economy would have enjoyed an upside of £1.35 billion in 2015. This figure holds true even if the number of female entrepreneurs remained the same as it was in 2012.
There is another scope of concern as well. The United Kingdom is far behind its world counterparts in the field of female entrepreneurship. Britain, in 2015, witnessed about 4.7 percent of working women founding their own businesses. In contrast, in countries like the Netherlands, Canada and the United States, the figures were 7.3 percent, 13.5 percent and 9.2 percent respectively.
There are multiple barriers to entrepreneurship for women. Funding is only one of many factors. The list of other problems includes standard lack of confidence due to inadequate business education. Women founders also complain of an absence of space where experiences and knowledge can be shared. The space is vital to establish networks and build connections.
There is an urgent need to rectify such a sorry state of affairs. UK schools must start a number of education programs which cover the different open career options. The list of careers should include business, entrepreneurship and commercialization. There is also the need to examine a number of gender discrepancies observed in schools. Girls must take more STEM subjects. The intake of girls for science, tech, engineering, maths or STEM is much low compared to boys. This imbalance is also witnessed in business subjects. The government must solve these issues.
Importance of role models
It is vital to popularize a number of female role models to provide a fillip to such educational programs. Examples are scarce, with males like Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson dominating the field. The availability of role models make business success and entrepreneurship achievable.