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‘Marked rise’ in women starting firms to boost work-life balance

Research has revealed a “marked rise” in the number of women across the UK starting their own businesses, driven by people looking to improve their work-life balance.

Industry group Small Business Britain reported a continued positive shift in the number of female entrepreneurs despite significant cost pressures facing people looking to start businesses.

Michelle Ovens, founder of Small Business Britain and the f-entrepreneur campaign, said it is also “uplifting” to hear new female business owners saying they are happier after launching new firms despite the challenging economic backdrop.

Research by Small Business Britain found that 39% of female entrepreneurs said that improving their work-life balance was the biggest catalyst for starting a business.

Meanwhile, 30% said they launched firms as they wanted to choose where they worked and 25% reassessed their careers after having children.

More than 150,000 new companies were started by women in 2022 – more than twice as many as in 2018 – according to the latest Rose Review.

Small Business Britain said this has continued to grow despite pressures on small firms.

Ms Ovens said: “There has been a marked rise in female entrepreneurs across the UK, and collectively they make a phenomenal contribution to the UK economy.

“Despite the many economic challenges for business owners that need to be tackled, it is uplifting to hear that most women are happier for having taken the plunge into entrepreneurship and are seeing immeasurable benefits in their lives.”

Mireya Quiton Tuijtelaars, founder of Mia Strada London, said: “I started my business to generate an income whilst also looking after my children, as I faced major challenges with the cost of childcare, and it didn’t make financial sense to go back to my previous role.

“I had a passion for natural gemstones and found there was an underserved market for socially and environmentally conscious products.

“I am so much happier, having been able to create a business that allows for a better work-life balance.

“To be working in something I really believe in is such a delight. I can’t say it is, or has ever been, easy but it is definitely rewarding.”

The research comes as Small Business Britain opens applications for its annual #Ialso100 campaign, which showcases a line-up of the UK’s 100 leading female business owners.