Equality and Diversity

One in three female entrepreneurs face gender bias

A study from Instant Offices found that female entrepreneurs are 81% less likely to be confident that they can access start-up funds for their business

Over a third (35%) of female business founders still face gender bias when raising their business capital, according to new data from workplace specialists Instant Offices. 

Its research found that female entrepreneurs also received an average of 5% less funding than their male counterparts, adding that it is “clear that much more can be done” to support women-owned businesses and women in senior positions.

Although there has been “encouraging” growth from 17% to 32.37% over the past four years, men are still twice as likely to start their own businesses, with women comprising less than one-third of UK business founders.

The latest study from Instant Offices found that women are 81% less likely to be confident that they can access start-up funds, and that women start out with an average of 53% less capital than their male counterparts. 

The research also highlighted a “scaling gap”, as 46% of female entrepreneurs do not seek scale loans as they expect issues with the process, while 40% do not seek scale loans as they expect to be turned down.

Only around 10% of female-led businesses in the UK are successfully scaling, according to the findings. 

Lucinda Pullinger, global head of HR at The Instant Group said: “The modern workplace has seen a major shift towards greater flexibility, with remote and agile working becoming the way of the future, especially post-pandemic. 

“An increasing number of companies are also looking to initiatives that include men to help move the dial, such as shared parental leave. This allows more women to balance their work and family responsibilities more effectively.”

She added: “As workplaces start reopening in the wake of a disruptive lockdown period, the business world is faced with many exciting opportunities to change and grow for the better. There are many more ways to pave the path to greater gender parity among entrepreneurs, inspiring women in business to thrive.”

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