If you’re a woman who’d love to have your own business, what are the stats behind your potential success? We look at the evidence, and how franchising can set you on the right path to succeed.

Are you a female entrepreneur feeling an overwhelming sense of societal pressure to ‘behave like a man’ in order to achieve? Statistical evidence looks at why we need to address the gender gap and why ‘franchising’ can be a very lucrative option.

In recent years, the entrepreneurial landscape has undergone a significant transformation, with women playing an increasingly prominent role.

The rise of women in leadership positions is a testament to the evolving dynamics of business, where females are breaking traditional barriers and shaping a new narrative. However, there’s still much to be done:

  • Female-Led Ventures

A remarkable shift has been witnessed in the UK’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, where the number of women establishing a company has more than doubled between 2018 and 2022, reaching over 150,000 startups.[1] One-fifth of new incorporations, in 2022, were female led, demonstrating the growing influence of women in shaping the business landscape. The expansion of female self-employment by 10%, in comparison to 16% among men, highlights the growing momentum of women venturing into entrepreneurship, creating more inclusive business practices.[2]

  • Motivations and Attitudes

Women have diverse motivations for starting their business. Flexibility around family care is a core reason for women with children, showcasing the importance and delicacy entrepreneurship plays in balancing work and family responsibilities. Women are nearly five times more likely than men to cite family as a reason for choosing self-employment.[3] However, women’s attitudes reveal a gap in entrepreneurial skills, with less than 39% expressing confidence in their ability to start a business, compared to 55% of men.[4] Fear of going solo and fear of failure are more pronounced among women, indicating the need for targeted support to help boost confidence.

  • Access to Finance

The gender gap around women accessing finance, is a persistent and concerning issue. Despite progress in many areas, it continues to hinder the growth and success of female-led businesses. One-third of women identified access to funding as a significant barrier to starting and scaling businesses.[5] Despite female-led firms showing better performance and higher ROI, they actually start with significantly less capital and reduced finance options. This cannot persist! Closing the gender gap requires a collective effort. By recognising the potential of women-led businesses and providing them with the necessary support, we’ll create a more inclusive and thriving entrepreneurial landscape.

  • Ethical Considerations

Women increasingly engage in socially-oriented start-ups, with 5.8% of women compared to 4.9% of men, choosing this option.[6] The inclination of women towards social, ethical, and environmental considerations in business, reflects their commitment to having a sustainable impact. However, the gender gap in social activity remains narrow compared to mainstream enterprise activity, demonstrating new target areas for growth and engagement.

As you can see, the evolving landscape of female entrepreneurship in the UK, reflects both the progress made, and the challenges ahead. Whilst women’s attitudes are changing to reflect confidence and leadership within new business establishments, there remains a gender gap around access to finance, and attitudes towards female business leaders.

Franchising, however, can close some of these gaps. It gives women an opportunity to take control of their own finances, enhance their confidence to know they CAN run a business, and provides targeted support to promote growth of their own enterprises.  As a result, female entrepreneurs reconcile their professional ambitions with family responsibilities, breaking free from the dilemma of choosing one over the other. Recognising the significance of addressing issues related to work-family balance are crucial steps toward creating an inclusive and thriving ecosystem.

As women continue to break barriers and redefine the business landscape, nurturing their participation and success in business remains essential for sustainable economic growth.

So what’s next?

As a business community, how can we encourage women into positions of leadership and signpost them to the right access to finance? We know franchising is a unique industry, with opportunities for any one, regardless of their experiences or circumstances, to run a business. And, through organisations like EWiF, a chance feel connected to an inclusive, encouraging community offering unlimited support. So… what’s your next move?


Are you an ambitious, driven female entrepreneur, looking to create your own schedule, and make a return on investment at your own pace? Contact us today at EWiF to find out more.

Also: Discover information around finance and funding issues here


[1] Rose Review Progress report, 2023, https://www.prowess.org.uk/facts/

[2] Rose Review Progress report, 2023, https://www.prowess.org.uk/facts/

[3] ONS Regional Trends, Women in Business, 2009, https://www.prowess.org.uk/facts/

[4] Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, HM Treasury, 2019, https://www.prowess.org.uk/facts/

[5] Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, HM Treasury, 2019, https://www.prowess.org.uk/facts/

[6] Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Focus on Social Entrepreneurs, GEM, 2004, https://www.prowess.org.uk/facts/