2020 as been a year of change, upheaval, difficulty for many in business and hardship for billions of people around the world with Covid-19. However, an area which has continued to excel and which has thrived is that of women in business. There are female entrepreneurs aplenty in the UK and with so many female entrepreneurs, we have picked out the ones to watch in 2021, so read on below and find out who to watch in the year ahead…
Tech Startups Founded by Women
Health Startups Founded by Women
Food or Drink Startups Founded by Females
Female Focused Startups
Environmental Focused Startups
Empowering Startups Founded by Women
Lifestyle Startups Founded by Women
Finance Startups Founded By Women
Student Focused Startups
How Many Female Entrepreneurs are there in the UK and what industries are they in?
With all the industries together, there are around 250 million self-employed women, worldwide; a figure expected to grow to 490 million by 2030. Women are starting businesses at record rates and female entrepreneur activity is up 10%. This is an increase of 5% since 2014. Since 2014, the number of female entrepreneurs has increased by 20 percent to a total of nearly 13 million, with firms owned by women of colour growing at double that rate. As of 2019, the industries with the most female entrepreneurs in the UK are personal services, fashion, arts, healthcare and education.
Why are Female Entrepreneurs so Important to the UK Economy?
A recent study by Print-Print was carried out throughout the two UK lockdowns and the results show a significant rise in the number of women starting their own company for the first time. Since the pandemic started, the results of the study suggest that female-owned startups have grown by almost one third.
This suggests that the current crisis has resulted in a rise in female entrepreneurship. The reason for this may be because the pandemic has had a greater effect on women in employment, with UK Government statistics showing that more women were furloughed in comparison to men. With this, McKinsey note that although women make up 39% of the global workforce, women have totalled 54% of all COVID-19 related job losses. Despite this, women have had the time to take their career into their own hands and many have launched their own startup, helping to relaunch the economy.
Before the pandemic, in 2019, there was over 45,000 tech startups launched across the UK, with over 17,401 of these being registered in London. This figure is seen to have risen, with many new startups being registered in the UK which is why female entrepreneurs are so important to the UK economy.
What Help is Available to Female Entrepreneurs in the UK?
The below are example of organisations offering help to female entrepreneurs, with more examples found here.
Anita Borg Institute
The Anita Borg Institute recognizes the accomplishments of women in computing, and the organizations that recognize their value, through a variety of awards.
- Able Awards – Honouring distinguished women technologists and those who work to empower women.
- Pass It On Awards Program – Honouring Anita Borg’s desire to create a network of technical women helping one another.
- PITCHER – A pitch competition supports, encourages, and provides new funding opportunities to women entrepreneurs.
Cartier Women’s Initiative Award
French luxury jeweller Cartier run their Women’s Initiative Award every year, with winners receiving coaching and a share of more than $1M in funding. Female entrepreneurs from any country and industry are welcome to apply, provided their business is for-profit and in its early stages.
In addition to the 7 existing Regional Awards, the initiative has launched the Science & Technology Pioneer Award, a new thematic category for the 2021 edition that aims to support women impact entrepreneurs at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation.
Global Fund for Women
The Global Fund for Women supports organisations run by women, girls and trans people outside the United States. Successful applicants will receive funding and resources to help their local communities and often get multi-year grants.
Market Inspector Scholarship for Women in Business
This one is a little different; it’s a scholarship prize for female undergraduate and postgraduate students who have also set up their own business.
Awards – £1,000 scholarship for the applicant with the most innovative business.
StartHer invites European startups with at least one woman on the founding team to apply for their awards. 10 finalists will pitch to a panel of industry experts. Companies must have been active for between 6 months and 3 years.
Awards – €10,000 for one winner and prizes for finalists.
Women In Innovation Awards
This programme is run by Innovate UK, a non-departmental public body funded by the government. 2018’s funding will be awarded to female-led ideas that address the four grand challenges posed by the government’s Industrial Strategy:
- AI and the data economy
- clean growth
- future of mobility
- ageing society
Awards – £50,000 funding plus mentoring for 8 winners.
Women Who Tech Startup Challenge
Women Who Tech regularly run Startup Challenges to showcase and fund innovative, female-led startups around the world. Ten finalists pitch to a panel of industry experts for a share of $60,000, resources and mentorship.
Awards – Up to $35,000 in funding and support, depending on the prize.
Bright Ideas Trust
The Bright Ideas Trust provides support to young people who are unemployed, not in education or training or come from disadvantaged backgrounds. While they don’t give grants, they do offer loans of up to £25,000. They also run a programme specifically for prisoners who are interested in starting their own businesses after serving time.
Awards: Support and up to £25,000 startup loan
We have put together a list of female entrepreneurs to watch in 2021 covering different sectors, listing them from A-Z. Please find the list of all these talented female entrepreneurs below with their interview attached to find out more: