Female Entrepreneurs Set To Double Over Next 30 Years

Dr A. Beauregard (LSE)A new report out today reveals the UK is set to see an explosion of female enterprise over the next few decades, led by a ‘world is my oyster’ (WIMO) generation of spirited young women.  The Avon Inspiring Tomorrow’s Women Report, commissioned by Avon Cosmetics Limited and produced by Dr Alexandra Beauregard of the London School of Economics, indicates the number of female entrepreneurs looks set to nearly double over the next few decades.

Research carried out by Dubit amongst 2,000 16-24 year olds suggests women founders might, in just a few decades, bridge the gender-based enterprise gap, with almost two thirds (60%) of the young female WIMOs expressing an interest in setting up their own business. Fast growing markets like Brazil had more women founding businesses than man in 2009 already, so this could most certainly be a global trend.
The attitudes of the WIMO generation of entrepreneurs recorded in the research demonstrate a readiness to work hard and make sacrifices in order to achieve career fulfillment.
Of the young women participating in the study:
  • 72% said being their own boss appeals to them.
  • 85% said it’s important to them to have a job in which they can achieve something significant.
  • 61% were willing to work two jobs at once.
  • 76% believed the job market is at saturation, and many believe being their own boss is a realistic alternative to the current overloaded job market.
  • 57% considered their parents to be role models in terms of work and career.
  • Only 28% felt there was sufficient advice from the government on this subject to assist their drive for enterprise (against 40% of young men).
Although being one's own boss can sound appealing to young people who don't yet fully understand what that truly entails; that combined to the overall negative view of the job market, and a willingness to work 2 jobs in quest of fulfillment really do paint a very promising future for women's entreprise in the UK and similar markets, like the US.

However the low feeling of support from the government to first-time entrepreneurs might be slowing the process;
"In terms of the feasibility issue, we did find that while 40% of young men thought that there was sufficient advice from the government on going into business for oneself, only 28% of women felt the same way - so that's an area that's still showing more of a traditional gender divide in terms of self-employment." Dr Beauregard said to The NextWomen.
In terms of drivers, the influence of the family is key for the majority of tomorrow’s female entrepreneurs.  In addition, with many having seen their mothers strive to marry career ambitions with family demands, a desire for greater balance between work and personal life is demonstrated, with 58% of both young women and men agreeing that self-employment will provide them with the chance to build a life outside work.

Alexandra explains; "There's lots of existing research showing that having an entrepreneurial parent does predict future entrepreneurial activity. We looked at this more broadly, asking respondents whether they had any family members (uncles, sisters, grandparents, cousins, etc.) who were in business for themselves. This role modelling emerged as a significant predictor of interest in self-employment. But even more important was the perception that entrepreneurship would allow them to build a life outside of work - that came out as the number one predictor for young men, and the second most important predictor for young women."
It seems from Dr Beauregard's report that the combination of  a decadent job market, a quest for independence, control and fulfillment and a need for work-life flexibility might drive many more young women in the UK to start off on their own.

Given 85% of young women want a job that can help them "achieve something significant", we can hope the twice-as-many female founders of the future will not only grow women's enterprise, but also social enterprise. The next decades could be the boom of the "for benefit" sector, building profitable businesses that solve problems from the Non-Profit World, with gender-balanced boards and staff.

WOMEN WERE THE SYMBOL OF STRENGTH [MATRISHAKTI] IN INDO-ARYAN CULTURE.IN ANCIENT TIME WOMEN HAD AN HONOURABLE POSITION IN THE SOCIETY.THEY WERE EQUAL PARTNERS OF MAN IN EVERY FIELD.DURING THE MUSLIM RULE WOMEN LOST THEIR POSITION OF HONOUR AND RIGHT OF EQUALITY.THEY WERE KEPT WITH IN THE FOUR WALLS OF THE HOUSE. A WORLD WITHOUT WOMAN IN MY VIEW CAN NOT BE POSSIBLE.WHERE AS SO FOR MY IDEA IS CONCERNED FIND THE NECESSITY OF WOMEN IN THIS WORLD.

I hope women's high tech, high growth entrepreneurship is on the rise in the USA as well!

A colleague just introduced me to your website, and I love it! Thanks for helping & promoting female entrepreneurs :)

Kathryn Minshew
Editor in Chief, PYP Media

Sign Up to our Newsletter

So you enjoy The NextWomen. Why not sign up to our monthly newsletter?
You get a Letter from the CEO :-), the chance to catch up with the best of our recent articles - and some extra things we throw in once in a while.

We try hard for smart reading.