Millions of women want to be self-employed

Tuesday 14 June 2016

There are a number of things that attract people to the world of self-employment. Whether it's the flexibility it allows, the power to make your own decisions, or the ability to be able to drive your own creativity and reap the benefits of your own hard work, there are plenty of reasons why people would want to become their own boss.

However, new research has suggested that millions of women want to make this change but are unable to.

The study from Start Up Loans Company found that 56 per cent of female office workers dreamt of being their own boss. This accounts for around 7.5 million professionals who want to make the leap into self-employment, but haven't for a number of reasons.

It found that 40 per cent of respondents had started considering the perks of being their own boss over the last few years, while 16 per cent said they had wanted to do it since they were a child.

Of course, there are a number of reasons why people want to become self-employed, but the research found that a quarter sought better job satisfaction, as they were unhappy in their current role.

According to the women included in the survey, creative, arts and entertainment were the most sought after sectors, followed by food and retail services. In contrast, technology and building services were towards the bottom.

Tim Sawyer, chief executive of Start Up Loans Company, said: "This growing surge in ambition among the country’s female population is brilliant for UK trade, and show that the gender divide in business is quickly narrowing."

However, he said that most of these women are still lacking in confidence about making the break and needed more support to be able to make the career change.

"We need to take more action to change these attitudes and demonstrate to more women that they can realise their business dreams," Mr Sawyer explained.

The study found that, on average, women wanted to be able to achieve a salary of £25,132 during their first year of being self-employed.

It appears that giving women the support they need to become self-employed could have a significant positive impact on the wider UK economy.

Recently, social media giant Facebook published research that found there could be an extra £10.1 billion in the national purse by 2020 if the obstacles preventing women from being their own boss were removed.

It revealed that not feeling prepared was the reason why more than a third (37 per cent) of women hadn't become self-employed yet, while a quarter didn't have enough confidence.

By Victoria McDonnell

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