18 March, 2022
At Good Business, we believe celebrating achievements is as important as pressing for change. After all, if we focus solely on problems that still require solutions, we may lose sight of how far we’ve come. So this week, we’re highlighting the progress made in female entrepreneurship over the past few years.
When the government commissioned Alison Rose (then Deputy CEO of NatWest) to review barriers to female entrepreneurship, she found a concerning disparity between female and male entrepreneurs. The resulting Review of Female Entrepreneurship, published in 2019, did an excellent job of explaining how this disparity was problematic for the economy as well as society, and set out eight practical steps to help solve the problem.
Fast forward to 2022, and the Progress Report shows more women are starting new businesses than ever, with over 140,000 all-female-founded companies created in the past year. In a striking shift, growth in female founders is now outstripping male counterparts, suggesting the gender gap is narrowing. Tens of thousands of women have benefitted from advice and mentoring. Furthermore, the ScaleUp Female Founders Index 2022 shows that female-led businesses are scaling at greater rates than ever, and have created nearly 65,000 jobs.
We’re proud to have supported NatWest Group on their journey to support and champion female entrepreneurs. These developments demonstrate how dedicated attention and resources can achieve a lot in a relatively short space of time, even for complex social problems that require long-term systemic change. However, there is clearly still more to be done, particularly as the Covid pandemic disproportionately impacted women’s participation in the labour market. So as we celebrate the strides made so far, let’s also focus on how best to maintain the momentum needed for female entrepreneurs to continue to flourish.
By Miriam Shovel