Scotland third-highest in UK for gender parity

Friday 28 July 2017

Scotland is now ranked the third-highest in terms of gender parity in the UK, a new study has found.

Research from Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) found that the proportion of early-stage female entrepreneurs rose from an average of 3.2 per cent in 2003-06 to 5.4 per cent in 2013-16. 

These figures bring the country in line with the UK average of 5.5 per cent, with 64 early-stage female entrepreneurs in Scotland for every 100 men. 

The West Midlands is number one on the list with 74 women for every 100 males, while the East Midlands is second with a ratio of 66 to 100. 

Commenting on the statistics, Jonathan Levie of the University of Strathclyde Business School said: “This rise in female early-stage entrepreneurship in Scotland to a level that matches the average across the UK confirms what people in Scotland's entrepreneurial ecosystem have been seeing in recent years – the emergence of a new generation of women entrepreneurs.”

GEM found that the region with the lowest female to male entrepreneurship ratio is the north-west of England, which sits at 33, while the average across the UK is 53. 

Researchers at the University of Strathclyde and Aston University indicate regional differences could be explained by the higher numbers of graduates in certain areas.

It was also found that areas with plenty of mobile individuals and international migrants saw a closer gender balance.

The country with the highest rate of female early-stage entrepreneurs is Canada (11.6 per cent), while Spain has the narrowest gap between genders of any developed economy, with 74 female entrepreneurs for every 100 males.  

Mark Hart, professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at Aston Business School, said: “It’s encouraging that more women are seeing entrepreneurship as a career option and a route to financial independence and that may be a reflection of a more supportive ecosystem.”

As startups continue to rise in number it is increasingly important that employers consult freelancer and contractor accountants to ensure their taxes are handled accordingly.

Over both genders, the 2016 early-stage entrepreneurship rate was substantially higher than in 2015, exceeding the previous long-run rate of six per cent that stood until 2010.

The UK rate of 8.8 per cent compares well to France (5.3 per cent) and Germany (4.6 per cent), meaning the country is one of the top destinations in Europe for startups.

However, while figures are improving, it remains way behind the US, where the entrepreneurship rate is 12.6 per cent. 

By Victoria McDonnell

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