Entrepreneurship still the preserve of young men as women and older people shy away

Women and the over 50's are shunning entrepreneurship, preferring the reliability of employment instead, according to a survey.

Some 36 per cent fewer women than men plan to start up their own business, with only 30 per cent of women self-identifying as having an entrepreneurial mindset compared to half of men, according to research by business services provider Expert Market.

Creating a business also becomes less appealing with age, with over-50s three times less likely to embark on their own venture than the under-30s, finds the study of almost 1,000 respondents.

An Expert Market spokesperson says, ‘For a lot of people, the idea of having their own business is connected with too many possibilities of failure, rather than success. However this is a huge shame as both women and the older generation offer a huge wealth of talent and experience which would be hugely beneficial to start ups.

‘We would like to see more support for women and the over-50s to help ensure that entrepreneurship is not just the preserve of young men. The whole business sector can benefit from multiple skill sets, areas of knowledge and ideas.’

For many the reasons for not wanting their own company were the same; not having enough access to money, being unsure about the economy and having too great a fear of failure.

The study also finds many more men than women self-identifying as being risk takers.

Hanna Mansson, 27, from London says, ‘While having my own business would be amazing in many ways, I feel that with the risk involved and knowledge required it does not weigh up the benefits of a standard job at this moment in time. Having said that, if I had a business idea that I was really passionate about I think I would feel differently.’

The Expert Market spokesperson continues, ‘Interestingly the survey also shows that while for men the driving force for setting up a business is being their own boss and earning more money, for many women their priorities are being able to turn a passion into work, and the ability to be more creative.

‘It is clear, that with more focused support we can get both groups interested in entrepreneurship and the economy thriving again.’

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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