Sisters are doing it for themselves… in business

with the number of female sole traders growing by more than a fifth nationally since 2008. Last year women made up 31.08 per cent of all sole traders registered in the UK, but some regions are showing more female entrepreneurial growth than others.

Since 2008 the number of female sole traders in London has grown by 22 per cent, with other growth hotspots including Middlesex (23 per cent growth) and East Lothian in Scotland. Scotland saw some of the strongest growth for female sole traders, with Midlothian, Peeblesshire and West Lothian, all featuring in the UK’s top 10 female freelancer growth regions.

The town with the lowest growth rates for female sole traders is Gwynedd in Wales, which experienced a moderate 10 per cent rise since 2008.

This spike in women opting to freelance follows reports of the thickening corporate glass ceiling, with 80 per cent of Britons believing that it has become even more difficult for women to progress in large corporations.

Today’s research comes following a Freedom of Information request from Hove-based Crunch Accounting. The HMRC data includes information on3,517,580 UK businesses.

London remains the top spot for female freelancers – last year in South West London nearly half of newly registered sole traders were female, 10 per cent more than the national average.

Laura Hughes, Crunch’s Accountancy Training Manager, said: “It’s great to see more women setting up on their own in business. So many of our Crunch clients choose the freelancing lifestyle for its flexibility and for working mothers, a sense of control and autonomy is key. Thanks to technology this working lifestyle is now becoming more accessible to more people.”