Are men more able to start their own business than women?

Man and woman in suit walking towards the camera in a business like fashion

In 2019, 101 years since women were given the vote, men are still seen to be more likely to have the time, money and confidence to start their own company, according to the latest research by IW Capital.

Why are so few women, relatively speaking, launching businesses in the UK? The Government is so worried by the latest data on female entrepreneurship that it has unveiled an investigation into the issue.

Women are 21 per cent less likely to consider an entrepreneurial route that is more attractive than working for some else, than men (34 per cent of men vs 28 per cent of women). What’s more, almost four in ten women don’t believe they will be richer than their parents.

Are these results due to self-confidence and resource? Well, according to the data, men are 52 per cent more likely to be perceived to have the capital to start their own business than their parents did at their age compared to women (35 per cent of men vs 23 per cent of women).

The gap remains

Fewer than one in five small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK. are led by women and two-thirds of women felt they had not been taken seriously by potential investors when raising money for new ventures.

With gender pay questions being asked of big organisation such as the BBC in 2017/2018 and more corporations under investigation over their gender pay gaps, the future will hopefully see a more even playfield for men and women. With greater chances for both to be given the same opportunities and avoid gender bias, why is it that just nine per cent of U.K start-up funding goes to women-run businesses?

The generational gap

It also seems that women in the UK are feeling disillusioned with the amount of support they can get from the Government when looking to set up a business. This is especially true when compared to the opportunities their parents may have had.

A third of women (34 per cent) felt more disillusioned with the corporate ladder than their parents/grandparents were. As well as 33 per cent of women saying they felt less supported by the Government to start their own business venture than their parents were at their age. Then it’s no surprise that 38 per cent of women said they don’t think they will be richer than their parents.

Meanwhile, a fifth of women felt like they were encouraged to commence their career in a role that did not reflect their professional aspirations or academic credentials at that time, including starting a business.

Today’s index reiterates a study conducted by UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) which showed the disparity between the potential investment available for men and women. It found that more than half (54 per cent) of female Angel investors had backed at least one female-founded business whilst only a small minority of male investors had done the same. This is worsened by the finding from the Women’s Entrepreneurship Index that men are three times more likely to have greater than £250,000 of investible assets available than women (nine per cent of men vs three per cent of women).

“Optimum productivity across our private sector can only be secured by utilising the full capacity of this nation’s diverse talent pool. Failing to do so will, of course, impede the growth and success of our economy, with up to 50 per cent of the potential and subsequent productivity being restricted,” commented Luke Davis, CEO and founder of IW Capital.

“The SME arena contributed £1.9 trillion to the UK’s economy in 2017 and so making sure that it has the widest possible pool of talent to draw from is vital. As the backbone of the private sector, they will be a huge factor in determining the success of Brexit in March and onwards. Encouraging investment into female-founded businesses is clearly something that must be improved upon through legislation as well as fostering an environment in which women feel that they have the support and resources available to start businesses.”

Would you feel confident enough to start your own business after knowing the facts or would it deter you from expressing your entrepreneurship for good? Let us know on Twitter: @PALifeMag.