A new free guide launched this week by women in business organisation, Prowess, as part of Finance 4 Start Up Britain Week from the Governments Start Up Britain initiative, aims to help women and their advisers to make the most of the funding options available.
There has been a massive hike in the number of women starting businesses since 2008; up 16 percent compared to two percent for men, however this confidence in starting a business isn't reflected by a confidence in finance.
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Historically studies have shown that women;
- are around ten per cent more likely than men to see finance as their only barrier to entrepreneurship
- start businesses with around one third of the level of finance of their male counterparts, in every size and sector of business
- use a narrower range of types of finance in their businesses. They are much less likely to use private equity or venture capital.
- are more likely to be offered business bank loans and also more likely to turn them down.
"When it comes to succeeding in business, whether you're a man or a woman doesn't matter a bit. With similar levels of start-up finance, women's businesses perform just as well as those led by men," says report author, Erika Watson. "While there is still some discrimination, that's less of an issue than the gaps in knowledge about what's available. Prowess 2.0 wants to support more women to succeed by providing the best information available."
The free 21 page e-book includes:
- A plain-English overview of all the main types of UK business finance, including loans, grants, equity, bootstrapping, crowdfunding and more.
- The pros and cons of the main types of funding and whether there's a women's angle or route. For example, women are much less likely to seek Business Angel funding, but just as likely to succeed when they do.
- Exercises to help women understand and deal with their own financial psychology. Money is a topic which academics agree is more emotionally loaded for women than it is for men.
The guide is available from Prowess Business in Finance