Editorial – Why women entrepreneurs?

karenbirchbw-245x3001Earlier this year I was asked to give the Common Business School lecture at Liverpool Hope University on the subject of Women Entrepreneurs. Since I have been running entrepreneurial businesses since 1990, this seemed like a reasonable request.

I decided that the title of the lecture should be “Why Women Entrepreneurs?” and the intention was to outline why, in my view, we need more women entrepreneurs; indeed why we need more women in business altogether. The transcripts of the lecture are published elsewhere in the3rdimagazine this month but here are a just two of the many reasons;

“If the UK could achieve the same levels of female entrepreneurship as the US, Britain would gain three quarters of a million more businesses”

“In the UK, if women started businesses at the same rate as men, we would have 150,000 extra start-ups each year”

So when the opportunity came to both promote the forthcoming Women in Business and Enterprise Conference, taking place in Glasgow 9th May, and to dedicate a complete issue of the3rdimagazine to the topic of women’s enterprise, we jumped at the chance.

With more than 60,000 female-led businesses, Scotland has proportionately more women in business than many other parts of the UK. These businesses are generating more than £5 billion for Scotland’s economy. But there are still twice as many men starting businesses as women, and women-owned businesses make up only 20% of the total.  With the appropriate support, it is suggested that the potential value of women’s enterprise to the Scottish economy could exceed £7 billion. The conference aims to look at the type of support needed and to provide a platform for long-term economic development.

Details of the conference are HERE and tickets are available from as little as £65 for the full days programme HERE

From my own perspective, I am delighted that we have so many women and men who have come forward and contributed their thoughts on the matter for the3rdimagize. My own contributions, transcripts of the lecture, are here:

Please feel free to comment on these and all of the other articles this month. Your views are important and will inform the debate just as much as the opinion pieces.

Karen

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