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More help needed for women in business, says FSB

The FSB has called for more support to encourage women in the UK to set up and grow their own businesses.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for more support to encourage women in the UK to set up and grow their own businesses.

Yesterday, the FSB issued a report highlighting the potential benefits to the economy, if there were to be more female entrepreneurs.

Urging for more support from the government and better access to finance, the aim behind the FSB’s report was to improve diversity and provide the public with more female role models.

Highlighting issues such as a lack of confidence and a struggle with work-life balance, the FSB also wants the Welsh Government to establish a Small Business Administration to help women overcome these barriers.

The organisation also called for the UK government to change its current statutory maternity pay entitlements, claiming that the current system puts those who are self-employed at a disadvantage

Between 2008 and 2016, the number of self-employed women in the UK has risen by 40% and women now make up almost a third of all self-employed workers according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Helen Walbey, chair of the FSB's diversity panel, also runs her own business - a motorcycle scrap yard and parts business in Aberdare, Wales.

She says that working in a male-dominated industry is what drove her to push for more support for women in business.

“I’m incredibly passionate about supporting women to realise their potential because there are so many incredible women out there and we just don’t see them. We have a real opportunity to promote the work they’re doing” , she told Wales Online

After surveying 2000, UK based female business owners, the report highlights that women-led businesses face many of the same challenges that start-ups face, including issues with cash flow (42%) and barriers to funding (25%).

However, they also face other issues such as balancing work life and family life (40%), achieving credibility for their business (37%) and lack of confidence (22%).

Ms Walbey stated:  "If women were to set up businesses and grow them at the same rate as men, we would see a huge boost to growth and prosperity in this country.

"In fact, the UK Government estimates it could add £600 billion to the economy."


Melanie Luff

About the author

Mel wrote for all titles in the Dynamis stable including, and as well as other global industry publications.


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