New: UK Guide to Finance for Startups (Free download)

moneyWomen’s businesses would grow more in case knowledge about business funding is improved. (It's one of the reasons The Next Women is organizing Pitch Events.) And now there is also a new free guide launched by women in business organisation, Prowess 2.0, that aims to help women and their advisers to make the most of the funding options available. We are very happy with this funding guide.

There has been a massive hike in the number of women starting businesses since 2008; up 16 percent compared to 2 percent for men. But a body of research shows that this burst of female entrepreneurship is likely to be stifled by lack of financial savvy. Women use a much narrower range of finance options and start businesses with much lower levels of funding, across every size and sector of business.

The Funding Guide

• A plain-English overview of all the main types of UK business finance, including loans, grants, equity, bootstrapping, crowdfunding and more.
• The pros and cons of the main types of funding and whether there’s a women’s angle or route. For example, women are much less likely to seek Business Angel funding, but just as likely to succeed when they do.
• Exercises to help women understand and deal with their own financial psychology. Money is a topic which academics agree is more emotionally loaded for women than it is for men.

The funding guide is free to download from www.prowess.org.uk

Facts about women and finance:

  • The proportion of women starting businesses increased by 16% between 2008-2012, compared to 2% for men (ONS statistics to April 2012) .
  • Women are around ten per cent more likely than men to see finance as their only barrier to entrepreneurship. Education and training reduce the difference (Caleb Kwong, Dylan Jones-Evans, Piers Thompson 2012 “Differences in perceptions of access to finance between potential male and female entrepreneurs: Evidence from the UK”, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, Vol. 18 Iss: 1, pp.75 – 97) . 
  • Women start businesses with around one third of the level of finance of their male counterparts, in every size and sector of business (Carter, S., & Shaw, E., ‘Women’s Business Ownership’, report to SBS/ DTI 2006). 
  • Women use a narrower range of types of finance in their businesses. They are much less likely to use private equity or venture capital (ibid Carter et al) . 
  • Women are more likely to be offered business bank loans and also more likely to turn them down (ibid Carter et al) . 
  • Fear of debt is the single largest barrier to entrepreneurship for both men and women, although women are significantly more fearful than men (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, London Business School, 2006) .

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