One in ten UK women now want to set up a business, but a ‘confidence curve’ between the ages of 25-39 could be holding the most likely candidates back, according to new research commissioned by Facebook for its #SheMeansBusiness programme.
While one in five women at this life stage say that they’d like to set up a business – twice the national average – just 64% feel confident in their ability to do so. This compares to 81% of women aged 40-54 and 68% of women in their late teens and early twenties.
Tackling the confidence curve could be big news for the UK economy. If just one in five women who wanted to start their own business did so, they could create 425,000 UK jobs by the end of 2020 – adding a possible £10.1bn to the UK economy, according to a separate study for Facebook by Development Economics.
More relatable role models could tackle the confidence curve.
Relatable role models could be key to tacking the confidence curve, according to the research. Eight out of ten (83%) would-be female entrepreneurs say having a relatable role model would inspire them to start a business. This is most significantly felt amongst the 25-39 year-old group. Despite this, only a third (34%) can currently think of a business role model that inspires them.
Relatable circumstances and characteristics are seen as far more important in a business role model than someone with celebrity status. In fact, the top factors women look for in a relatable role model include:
- Someone in the same sector as the business they’d like to set up (49%)
- Someone who has overcome challenges or failures (44%)
- Someone who was in similar financial circumstances when they started their business (37%)
- By contrast, well-known or celebrity role models appeal to just 8% of women