Business bug bites women who seek greater work life balance

Female entrepreneurs in Scotland are catching up to their male counterparts, according to new research. And industry experts believe the reason behind this is a bid to achieve a greater work life balance.

A total of 38% of new firms were launched by women in 2009-10, compared to 34% the year before. This figure stood at 30% in 2000 and had been steadily decreasing since reaching an all time high of 42% in 2005*.

Howard Teale, general manager and HR director of Indicia Training, one of the country’s leading business skills and IT training providers, believes female entrepreneurship is now beginning to rejuvenate.

He said: “Women make up 51% of the UK population and 47% of those are active in the labour market, but they are the largest under represented group in terms of participation in enterprise. Men are still almost twice as likely to start businesses as women, and the gap is even wider for young women.

“Female-run businesses contribute almost £60 billion to the UK economy and if we saw the same level of female start-ups as we do male start-ups the UK would benefit from some 150,000 more businesses and the extra revenue these firms would generate.

“More than ever before we are demanding choice in our working lives and the best way to achieve this is to launch your own business. Research shows female entrepreneurs are predominantly driven by the flexibility afforded to lifestyle and the ability to balance work and family.

“Research shows that the more control you have over your own work, the less stressed you’re likely to get. This could be another reason contributing to the increase in female business owners.”

And Indicia Training has seen a rise in the number of women increasing their workplace skills. Females attending IT and business skills training events has risen by 54% since last year.

Teale added: “With women accounting for only nine percent of directors in the UK’s top 100 companies, 23% of Civil Service top management and 20% of MPs, this recession could provide the ideal opportunity for female workers to break through the glass ceiling.”

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