Surge in the number of female entrepreneurs - Business Works
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Surge in the number of female entrepreneurs

by Laura Hughes, Training Manager, Crunch Accounting New statistics just released reveal a surge in women going it alone in business, with the number of female sole traders growing by more than a fifth (21%) nationally since 2008. Last year, women made up 31% of all sole traders registered in the UK, but some regions are showing more female entrepreneurial growth than others. The research comes following a Freedom of Information request from Crunch Accounting. The HMRC data include information on 3,517,580 UK businesses.

"Its great to see more women setting up on their own in business," says Laura Hughes, Accountancy Training Manager at Crunch Accounting. "So many of our clients choose the freelancing lifestyle for its flexibility and for working mothers, a sense of control and autonomy is key. Thanks to technology this working lifestyle is now becoming more accessible to more people."

Since 2008, the number of female sole traders in London has grown by 22%, with other growth hotspots including Middlesex (23% growth) and East Lothian in Scotland (21% growth). Scotland saw some of the strongest growth for female sole traders, with Midlothian, Peeblesshire and West Lothian (all 21% growth), all featuring in the UKs top 10 female freelancer growth regions.

The county with the lowest growth rates for female sole traders is Gwynedd in Wales, which experienced a moderate 10% rise since 2008.

This spike in women opting to freelance follows reports of the thickening corporate glass ceiling, with 80% of Britons believing that it has become even more difficult for women to progress in large corporations (Financial Advisor School poll).

London remains the top spot for female freelancers last year in South West London nearly half (41%) of newly registered sole traders were female, 10% more than the national average (which is 31%).

County 2008/09 2011/12 % Growth
Middlesex 27670 36140 23.44%
London 112960 144930 22.06%
East Lothian 12050 15270 21.09%
Midlothian 12050 15270 21.09%
Peeblesshire 12050 15270 21.09%
West Lothian 12050 15270 21.09%
Dunbartonshire 10860 13630 20.32%
Essex 46970 58440 19.63%
Bedfordshire 17650 21870 19.3%
Lanarkshire 13940 17220 19.05%
West Yorkshire 24190 29870 19.02%
Cleveland 4820 5950 18.99%
Surrey 55480 68320 18.79%
Northamptonshire 8880 10920 18.68%
Warwickshire 27480 33760 18.6%

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