Coronavirus Pandemic Encourages Female Entrepreneurs

New research shows that 51% of aspiring UK female entrepreneurs are inspired to start their own business after the coronavirus pandemic.

Inspired Female Entrepreneurs

New research from LifeSkills, created with Barclays, shows increased enthusiasm for female entrepreneurs in the UK. The women were asked about starting up and growing their own business, as well as their hopes and fears about the current economic climate. 51% of those surveyed said that the pandemic has made them want to start their own business. Additionally, 74% of those between 16-34 have said that the pandemic has made them more likely to launch a business. It seems that the younger generation has a greater entrepreneurial spirit and are potentially less risk-averse.

Boost from Barclays

Inspired by the research, Barclays vows to support women in business and entrepreneurship through their new scheme. Their three-year commitments aims to provide support to those starting up and growing a business. The LifeSkills programme supports the next generation of business owners to become successful entrepreneurs. LifeSkills will work with secondary skills and all-girls schools across the UK sharing materials about starting a business.

Core Skills

The survey highlighted knowledge gaps; for example although 53% had an idea they wanted to launch, only 14% had drafted a business plan. Subsequently, LifeSkills will focus on practical skills on launching a business. These will include, but are not limited to, developing a business idea and turning plans into reality. Additionally, they will teach key transferable skills such as leadership, communication, resilience and problem solving.

Bridging the Gap

There are currently only one in three female business owners in the UK. Barclays and LifeSkills aims to change this and change the face of female entrepreneurship. As part of their broader goals, they want to address the gender gap. This gap in entrepreneurship is the equivalent to 1.1 million missing businesses and a deficit of £250 billion in economic value. Chair of the LifeSkills Advisor Council, Baroness Karren Brady CBE, said “with so much untapped female-led business potential in the UK economy, it has never been more important to inspire and nurture the next generation of successful female entrepreneurs.”

Next Steps

Over three years, Barclay’s will help female business owners overcome the pandemic and consequent recession. They will deliver the mentoring programmes and support via the bank’s Eagle Labs and Rise network. Next month, Barclays is due to announce further support materials and access to finance for female business owners. Barclays Head of Business Banking, Hannah Bernard, said “It’s absolutely key to the UK’s economic recovery that the industry comes together to give both female business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs a boost, particularly as we see the impact of the coronavirus pandemic continue to play out.”