Female Entrepreneurs Avoid Risk to Survive Recession
Women business-owners have been less affected by the recession because they tend to take fewer risks and grow their firms at a slower rate, an Everywoman report has revealed, writes Kate Horstead.
The Voice of Everywoman report found that 50% of women business-owners said that the recession had not impacted on their business, compared with 38% of men.
The findings also revealed that while only 15% of women had launched new services, 20% of men had done so.
Everywoman director, Karen Gill, said that although risk awareness can be a positive thing, it can also hold women back from growing their businesses.
“This research, combined with our understanding of our members, confirms that while women are faring better in the downturn due to risk awareness, this is conversely holding them back from potential growth.”
“We want to encourage businesswomen to invest in themselves and understand that while the reckless risk that we have seen in the banking sector is irresponsible, calculated risk is necessary for businesses to flourish.”
“Female entrepreneurs need to take time out of running the business to look at their strategy and should not be afraid to grow,” she said. “The best opportunities lie in getting the right finance, the right team and the right support in order to expand. Often, it is their awareness of risk and lack of confidence that holds them back from reaching their potential.”
Expert on running family-friendly businesses, Antonia Chitty, said that women running slow-growth businesses have made the right choice in the recession.
“Many women who start up businesses go for small, manageable businesses with organic growth, which means they don’t take out big loans,” she said. “That means if the business slows down, there is less financial exposure and they can cope. If you have a micro-business, it is easier to stay in control and to adjust, and you’re going to have a much clearer idea of profit and loss.
“There is nothing wrong with keeping a business small, if the aim is to bring in a bit of extra income for the family. Other women may want to grow their business at a faster rate — for example, by reaching a different group of clients ― but they are right to weigh up whether the risk is worth the potential benefits.”