International Women’s Day

How women are making a difference in the world of micro business & some personal thoughts.

As a woman founder of 3 businesses, I love to use International Women’s Day to celebrate other founders, women in business and women making a difference where they are.

Size matters.

I will start by repeating that micro business in Britain is defined as 0-9 employees and makes up 96% of all private business in the UK. Small business is actually defines as 10-49 employees so when we see lots of ‘Small Business News’ the lines and who they are describing is muddy and unclear.

However, what we do know is that women play a huge role in micro business. Data shows us that women are attracted to working in this sector because it gives them the maximum flexibility to fulfil caring roles, manage domestic environments while fulfilling their own income and work/life ambitions.

In this context, it’s difficult to get accurate micro business data for women but we do know that there has been a leap on numbers of women starting up businesses and latest figures from 2020 put the level at over 32% of business in the UK is female founded and owned. We also know that the largest number of business owned by women are in the ‘do not employ’ category of business, again suggesting they are of the micro business community too.

According to UENI (Tech Company based in London supporting small business to get online) when they surveyed over 22000 businesses… ‘Based on this analysis, we can also report that the West Midlands county of Staffordshire has the overall highest proportion of women-owned small businesses across the UK (41.72%). It’s notable that this figure well surpasses the national average for female entrepreneurs.’

Leading the way

All this data points to the fact that women are playing a huge role in driving entrepreneurship in the UK and have made a leap in the ‘start up capital of Europe’ from just 17% of those in 2018 to what they are today.

How the impact of the pandemic will evolve this trend further will be interesting to see. As people seek more home working, more flexible working and working that doesn’t lead to a stressed out life, it seems that more and more women will be attracted to setting up on their own.

Do we care?

As a mother to two amazing young men, wife to a husband and with many amazing men in my life and work (including in our Simply Club), supporting women has never been more important. The pandemic has shown us the need for balance, good mental health, the need for wellbeing and a need to work flexibly to safeguard these things. This means that we need micro business and start ups to embrace both men and women in equal measure. We know that men are twice as likely to grow a business beyond a million turnover and if we want everyone to have equal access to opportunities, inspiration and finances, women need to be supported to achieve this parity.

Society, creativity, health and wellbeing blossoms where there is balance and so entrepreneurship that reflects all people including women, will give us a far better chance to achieve a brighter future.

Today I am celebrating the courage, bravery and innovation of women all over the world, especially those millions in war zones who are suffering so very badly. Rarely the perpetrators of violence & war, women can be supported now via the British Red Cross and many other amazing organisations. Please do donate if you can.