Nearly 60% of young UK entrepreneurs are women

The majority of entrepreneurs aged under 35 in the UK are now women, a new study suggests. The 59% of female entrepreneurs in this age bracket in the UK was far higher than the global average of 47%.

The Essence of Enterprise report, which was carried out by HSBC Private Bank and released just before International Women’s Day, surveyed nearly 3,000 active business owners worth between $250,000 (£175,000) and $20 million (£14 million).

There definitely appeared to be a generational divide when it came to the genders of entrepreneurs. While 59% of those in the millennial age bracket were women, this fell to under a third (30%) of those aged 35 to 54 and just 16% of UK entrepreneurs aged 55 or older.

The study also found that businesses launched by female entrepreneurs tended to have a higher turnover than those launched by male contemporaries, averaging $4.1 million (£2.88) and $4 million (£2.81 million) respectively in 2015. Female entrepreneurs also fared better when it came to amassing personal wealth, with an average worth of $5.2 million (£3.66 million) for women compared to $4.7 million (£3.3 million) for men.

Millennials of both genders claimed to be less concerned about money than older generations however. More than two thirds (69%) said that having a positive economic effect was a factor in them deciding to go into business in the first place and nearly the same amount said they wanted to have a positive impact in their community. The majority (89%) also claimed to have been actively involved in philanthropy over the past 12 months.

Achieving and maintaining profitability is, of course, essential for any business wishing to avoid company insolvency but financial rewards are not the only motivations for starting up a business.

A 2015 study by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills found the top reason (cited by 42% of respondents) for starting a business was income related. The next most popular reasons given were having control and independence, not having to work for others and having a personal interest in the area of the business.

By Phil Smith

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