Women are “shattering the entrepreneurial glass ceiling”

NatWest has shared that more than 140,000 women-led businesses emerged in the UK during 2021, which demonstrates a rapid growth of female entrepreneurs

For the first time in history, women-led business growth has overtaken male-led business growth in the UK, according to NatWest's annual Rose Review. The data highlights that in 2021, more than 140,000 companies were established by all-women teams. 

This record-breaking figure demonstrates a poignant milestone for gender equality, as it represents the first time in which entrepreneurial weighting has been in favour of women.

Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest Group and author of the Rose Review, said: “We have seen real progress since 2019. Getting more funding to female entrepreneurs and unlocking their untapped potential continues to be a priority across our industry. But women still don’t receive all the support they need and the pandemic risks holding back progress, so we must go further to achieve the goals of the Rose Review.

“Data shows that more women than ever are starting new businesses and we must harness this potential,” she continued. “That means more financial institutions committing to delivering change and funding. We also need more direct support for businesses across the UK and we must propose fresh, imaginative solutions to the challenges posed by women’s caring responsibilities.”

The report is in its third year of publication, and supports entrepreneurs across the UK with initiatives that advocate mentorships, funding, advice and training, leading to the growth of female founded start-ups. 

Young women are also demonstrating exceptional growth, as 14,000 of the new businesses that emerged in the UK during 2021 were launched by females aged between 16-25.

“We’re making the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business,” said small business minister Paul Scully, “and that means unleashing the entrepreneurial talents of everyone across the country.

“This report shows women are shattering the entrepreneurial glass ceiling, which is a huge step forward in ensuring our economy and society is making best use of all our talents.”

Although the study shared successful results, it also highlighted that COVID haltered progress, as female entrepreneurs spent twice as long on caring responsibilities compared to their male counterparts during the pandemic.

In response, the Rose Review Board have announced the introduction of extra measures, including launching recruitment campaigns, and increasing mentoring and networking opportunities



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