One fifth of all new companies founded last year were set up by all-women founders, with the biggest jump coming from young women aged 16-25-years-old.
Women established 151,603 companies in 2022, up by 6,332 on the previous year. They represented 20 per cent of all incorporations, compared with 16.7 per cent in 2018.
Female entrepreneurs aged under 25 were the largest group, setting up 17,489 businesses last year, compared with only 785 in 2018.
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The figures were collated in the latest annual progress report of The Rose Review into female entrepreneurship, led by Dame Alison Rose, chief executive of NatWest Group.
Rose said: “It’s testament to the resilience and entrepreneurialism of female founders that they are creating more companies than ever before.”
Small business minister Kevin Hollinrake added: “It’s great news over 150,000 women started new businesses last year – more than ever before – and seeing the number of businesses started by 16 to 25-year-olds increase by a quarter reaffirms the UK as a place of opportunity for all.”
The Rose Review, which was launched by Treasury in 2019, has pledged to create three million places for women to access business support over the next three years.
A total of 190 financial services institutions have now made formal commitments to improve female entrepreneurs’ chances of success by signing the Investing in Women Code, up from 134 in the previous year.
New signatories include savings and investment company M&G, lender Funding Circle and technology venture capital firm IQ Capital. Backers of the Investing in Women Code represent over £1tr in assets under management. The code requires them to adopt best practices to benefit female entrepreneurs and share data on their performance with Government.
The Rose Review is also committing to grow the pool of female angel investors from 14 per cent to 30 per cent of the total number of UK angels by 2030 through the work of the Women Angel Investment Taskforce, such as the Women Backing Women campaign.