Everything You Need To Know:
Women In The Workforce Untapped Potential
Women have a huge amount to offer the world of business as they continue to change the shape of the UK work-force. Historically there have been several structural obstacles that women have faced in terms of education and employment, impacting their economic empowerment.
Unbelievably, just 19% of small and medium sized enterprises in the UK are led by women. The untapped potential of female entrepreneurs across Britain remains, which is why it’s important that recognise the struggles facing women in terms of family and career, the gender pay-gap, access to funding and their underrepresentation in positions of leadership at work.
Women now work in roles, jobs and industries that have previously been regarded as the sole prerogative of men, and in the last 50 years, the UK has seen a continual rise in the proportion of women in employment. Over 15.3 million women were recorded in employment at the end of 2018 - with the female employment rate at 71%, the highest it has been since records began in 1971.
Most Common Sectors of Employment
- Health and Social Work – 21%
- Wholesale and Retail - 14%
- Education - 12%
The Gender Pay Gap
In April 2018, the gender pay gap (defined as the percentage difference between male and female median hourly earnings) was 8.6% for full-time employees and 4.4% for part-time employees.
Did you know? Goldman Sachs Group Inc. pays female members of staff in the UK on average 56% less than men. With a higher concentration of men in lucrative, senior positions, when it comes to end of year bonuses, women receive 72% less than men.
Causes for the pay-gap have been summarised as:
- Male dominated highest-paid sectors
- Impact of part-time working
- Unconscious Stereotyping
In April 2017, the government announced that larger UK businesses had to submit reports in line with The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2010.
Although the spotlight falls predominantly on larger businesses to report and make changes (over 250 employees), smaller business owners should also be aware of the measures that should be taken to tackle the gender pay gap in their workplace.
'SME’s need to be encouraged and educated on the quality and skills that women bring to a workforce. Each gender brings a quality to an organisation that adds to rather than detracts from a business’ ultimate objective’
Business Loans For Women Access To Funding
For female entrepreneurs founding startups in the UK, access to funding remains a barrier to growth.
A study published by Venture Capital in 2017 revealed that businesses with all male teams were four times more likely to attract funding than those with one woman in a position of management – despite the fact women-led businesses have not been found to be less successful of valuable than those headed up by men.
Women tend to be more reliable borrowers, with a lower insolvency rate than their male counterparts. However, they are more reluctant to apply for funding and take on debt.
At SME Loans we recognise the valued contributions women bring to the UK’s economy. As such, we are working hard to fight gender bias, encouraging females to apply for funding through our merchant cash advances and business loans for women.
SME Loans Application Process
Step 1: Complete our 1-2-page online application form. As well as being asked for your personal information, we will also ask some basic details to verify your business. Please expect to disclose:
- The amount you want to borrow
- Average monthly card sales
- Name of your business
- Number of years trading
Step 2: Within hours of submitting your application form you will be matched by us to the most suitable lender for your business, and you will receive the lender’s full terms of agreement regarding your business loan.
Step 3: Once you have carefully read through the lender’s terms, you will need to sign and agree to them. After the agreement has been returned to your lender, the loan amount will be deposited to your account within just 48 hours.
There’s no need to be intimidated by SME Loans application process, we’re on hand to guide you through it. If you want to find out more about whether your business is eligible to apply for finance, please get in touch at 020 3475 9213.
Business Loans For Women Requirements
- Registered and trading in the UK
- For business loans, a minimum monthly turnover of £5,000
- For merchant cash advance, minimum monthly average card sales of £5,000
- Actively trading for 6 months
- Business owner / director is over the age of 18
Resources & Support Women In SMEs
Independents United have found that visibility of female entrepreneurs as role models is crucial to encourage and inspire other women to engage in entrepreneurship. Their research found that male-dominated environments led to the sense that women don’t fit in, and struggle to see themselves stepping into shoes of males.
They also found disparities between the ways males and females explore opportunities for growth. Women were found to be more risk-averse, considering long term implications far more than potential short-term gains.
Women starting businesses routinely report the feeling of having to defy gender stereotypes and overcome expectations, citing the lack of female role models in business in a report published by the Unilever Foundry.
Deloitte found a similar situation through their figures, which showed that less than 6% of working-age women are engaged in early stage entrepreneurial activity compared to 10% of men.
At SME Loans we want to be part of the change and shine a light on talented female entrepreneurs of SMEs. In the lead-up to International Women’s Day 2019, we shined a spotlight on women in business through a series of interview styled features, highlighting their valued contribution to the economy as part of our #WomenInSMEs campaign.
Through the campaign we spoke to several business owners - chatting through their journey, successes and challenges to date. We asked each entrepreneur what drew them to the campaign, and what advice they’d give to other females just starting out in business. All interviews can be found on the SME Loans blog.
Top 15 Business Networks for Women
There are a number of networks that can be found online that specifically benefit women - offering meetups, support, networking events and relevant advice.
Non-profit organisation for female entrepreneurs based in the UK. Encouraging personal development and expansion of business through mentoring schemes, networking, training and conferences.
Online hub offering content, masterclasses and a members club. With over 500,000 women involved globally, it’s mission is to empower and inspire.
Motivating existing and aspiring business women with articles on successes, challenges and hardships that face female business owners.
Helping women achieve the success they want, by empowering, connecting, training, inspiring, campaigning, promoting, celebrating and supporting them in whatever way they can.
Creating a global platform that connects women to opportunities, networks, businesses and expertise to empower them and close the gender employment gap.
Offering support and advice for women juggling family life with setting up, running and growing a business.
Providing international business networks, maps of local services, support and finance options for women in enterprise.
Social community helping women in business around London to help each other make progress.
Providing an academy with tailored courses to support business development. A new members club for working women with investment backed by angel investors.
Offering a female-focused accelerator where 8 startups can apply for and receive support and mentoring to grow their business.
Addressing the underrepresentation of women in technology, AccelerateHER are on a mission to champion and support women working in tech, breaking down the barriers that deter women from entering the sector
Networking for ambitious females who are on track to achieve their business dreams. Offering workshops for mutual support, it will soon be launching an online membership. Running a yearly ‘Festival of Doers’ bringing together female leaders across the world.
Raising money to build a dedicated loan fund for women with viable business plans who have been turned down by traditional lending facilities. Actively seeking members to network, offer mentoring and help fundraise.
Supporting women who live in rural areas and want to start their own businesses. Runs networking events, workshops and national annual conferences for full business support.
Social enterprise working to inspire, encourage and support young women into the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.