Why are fewer women going into business?

This week, London corporate solicitors Joelson look at an upcoming review which will explore why fewer women are going into business.

The Government believe that gender-bias in the investment industry is leading to fewer women starting their own business.

The consideration is included as part of its new review into exploring the disparities between male and female-led start-ups.

It follows new research which shows women are only half as likely to start a business when compared to their male counterparts. Likewise, just one third of entrepreneurs in the UK identify as women, while just one in five small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are led by women.

The Government said it will look at why there is such a large gap between female and male-led businesses and how it can tackle any unfair obstacles women may be facing.

The review is being led by Alison Rose, chief executive at RBS Commercial and Private Banking, alongside Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury.

The diversity review will cover four key considerations, including what is driving the disparity between male and female entrepreneurship, what actions can be taken to reduce barriers to female entrepreneurship and if there is a gender-bias when seeking external finance.

Commenting on the announcement of the review, Ms Rose said: “If we want to strengthen the UK’s position as one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business, then no-one can be left behind.

“Unfortunately, statistics show that women make up only a third of all entrepreneurs in the UK – to better drive the UK’s economy, we need to understand, and tackle, the barriers and reasons as to why this is – more can be done to support women in enterprise.”

At Joelson, we have long noted the discrepancy between both the number of female-founded businesses looking for funding and the number of female investors funding such businesses. As part of our commitment to bringing more women into the entrepreneurial sphere and supporting them throughout their careers, we have discussed the issue widely with the various networks we support, including SheWorx, WIBN and Beluga Bean.

There is no ‘magic bullet’, but we do think unconscious gender bias and societal expectations of women in business each have their part to play and are looking forward to hearing any solutions the Government may come up with.

To find out more about how our team can help, please contact London corporate solicitors Joelson


Philippa Sturt

Philippa Sturt

Partner – Corporate & Commercial

+44 (0) 20 7580 5721


This article is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action.