Women twice as likely to feel isolated when starting their own business

Men and women have broadly similar experiences when starting up their own business, finds research from Entrepreneurial Spark into the challenges and drivers for going out alone, but some differences are clear:

  • Women are nearly twice as likely to feel isolated working alone when starting up a business than men
  • Men are much more driven to start their own business because they want to be their own boss than women are
  • Women are more driven by having a great idea than men
  • Men also find it slightly more difficult to get finance in place to start-up (20 per cent said this was their biggest challenge) versus women
  • Women were more likely to seek a mentor to help them to grow

These findings are part of a wider piece of research carried out by Entrepreneurial Spark to mark the beginning of Accelerate Your Business Week, a UK week dedicated to helping start-up businesses to grow.

October was highlighted as being the best month to grow your business, due to opportunities in the run up to Christmas and a desire to achieve goals which had been set for the year.

The research will be used to inform support needs for businesses through Entrepreneurial Spark, which is offering free start-up business support to start-ups across the UK, powered by NatWest. Eight new regional hubs are being rolled out which will host up to 80 businesses each, with the first accelerator outside of Scotland opening in Birmingham in February.

Jim Duffy, CEO of Entrepreneurial Spark explains: “If we are truly going to create an entrepreneurial revival across the UK then it is not enough to rely on the individual. Almost 60 per cent of business owners told us there is not enough practical, free support and advice out there for people to start a business or grow an existing business. We know that it is tough in the start-up world and having the right support from an early stage hugely increases the chance of success.”

Stephanie Robinson, managing director, Solve (a HR and Employment Law consultancy) agreed that October is a great month to grow your business, “October has always been a great month for us. Everyone is back from summer holidays and back in the workplace and people can see Christmas and the end of the year looming. We have had record sales for October, almost double September’s revenue alone. It seems almost counter-intuitive with the dark nights looming but perhaps the ‘carefree’ summer feeling goes and people are more serious about business and concentrated on achieving their half year performance goals.

I think like most things if you look hard enough you can find support, but there is nothing like Entrepreneurial Spark, when I was exploring a separate business idea and looking to take it to market a couple of years ago I really struggled to find the ‘quality support’ you can find at Entrepreneurial Spark. There is a lot of ‘sign posting’ organisations out there, but not a lot of in-depth advice on how to set yourself up and access investment and even the ‘challenge and testing’ that a new idea or business requires and can get from Entrepreneurial Spark.”