Female entrepreneurs are on the up

New research released by eBay and Development Economics reveals that the number of self-employed women in the UK rose by 28% in the five years between 2009 and 2014. The number of self-employed men rose by just 10% in the same period.

Self-employed British women are also stealing a march on their European counterparts. In the same five year period, the number of self-employed women in France grew by just 17% and Italy by 5%, while in Germany the number fell -2%.

The research also found that Britain is home to the highest proportion of specialist online retail businesses established by women. 54%, compared to just 46% by men. In the US the figure is 48% and for Germany 44%.

eBay’s research also found that self-employed women are more likely to create jobs and support employees than entrepreneurial men. Nearly 10% of online businesses established by a female sole proprietor have employees compared to just 2% of those run by men.

Tanya Lawler, eBay UK CEO says: “We’re seeing more and more women set up successful enterprises, and for all the talk of a glass ceiling, Britain is actually a nation of self-made women.

eBay powers more than 200,000 small digital retail businesses, many of which are driven by ambitious and smart women. Our research with Development Economics has now verified the strides that businesswomen are making in the SMB space, and quantified their valuable economic contribution.

Platforms like eBay are vital for providing entrepreneurs with the infrastructure to start and grow a business of their own. For women with the additional pressures of childcare or flexi-working requirements, online retail is a land of opportunity where any glass ceiling is already well and truly smashed.”