More women needed in self-employment, BIS says in new survey

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills says in a new survey that increasing the number of female Brits in self-employment would benefit the UK.

In news that I would categorise as “you didn’t need a research study for that,” BIS wrapped up its Inclusive Support for Women In Enterprise study, wherein it found that female entrepreneurs starting their own businesses such as sole traders and even freelancers or umbrella company contractors would aid in creating jobs, boosting growth and helping to eradicate gender inequality in the UK. The report found that, while there are more SMEs owned by women than ever before, it’s still not enough to close that niggling gender gap – especially when it comes to how many business owners are men versus those that are women.

BIS made all sorts of suggestions to get the ball rolling on initiatives to increase the participation of women in the business environment. The first step, it says, is to get as accurate an image of what kinds of diversity levels are present in the UK in order to determine where the most egregious problem spots are; once the evidence is in, BIS says, more targeted approaches can be formulated. These approaches, by the way, were recommended to be ‘inclusive’ by BIS in order to ensure that male entrepreneurs don’t get all nervous and spiky and go running for the hills – or worse yet, dig their heels in and obstruct any equality initiatives.

BIS said that for many businesses, a ‘one size fits all’ policy when it comes to diversity planning can be less than effective. Keeping diversity in mind when planning for businesses is the best bet, according to BIS; the report suggested that evidence-gathering could be facilitated easily enough, provided that local enterprise partnerships could be convinced to keep data on business diversity and to include tick boxes on tendering forms asking about diversity.

As far as I’m concerned I think this is a brilliant idea. There’s all too many sharp-minded would-be female entrepreneurs out there locked out of the market by a lack of resources available to them, and if we can do anything to make the lives of these women easier it only seems fair to do so, don’t you think?

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