Despite the many challenges and long working hours, 83 per cent of UK female micro business owners would recommend starting their own business to other women, while 59 per cent believe they now have the same or even more opportunities than men to run a successful company.
The Women-owned Micro Businesses Trend Report from Vistaprint shows that, on both sides of the Atlantic, women micro business owners have a rosy outlook with 77 per cent of millennials expecting growth, as compared to 67 per cent of Gen Xers and 52 per cent of Baby Boomers.
The lower expectations for Baby Boomers is driven by their business strategy of maintaining their business at its current size over the next five years (32 per cent).
Some 11 per cent indicate that they are preparing to sell the business or close it down, compared to 0 per cent of millennials and 3 per cent of Gen Xers.
The report also highlights the importance of community and peer to peer support. In order to reach their desired level of success, 49 per cent of UK female owners prefer to look to business owners like themselves for advice and inspiration, rather than well-known, high flying business people.
The majority (59 per cent) of respondents believe that women currently have the same or more opportunities as men to be successful at running a micro business. Nevertheless, even in this environment, 35 per cent of respondents say they have encountered some level of gender discrimination and stereotyping in business.
However, the financial difficulties that women face when opening a small or micro business is still one of the biggest challenges they have to deal with. Half (50 per cent) list limited access to funding as the top issue they face.
Around two thirds (67 per cent) of the female micro business owners indicate that they need additional support to tackle issues as a business owner including tax incentives or credit (33 per cent), advice from other micro business owners (33 per cent) and more networking or mentoring opportunities (34 per cent).
Trynka Shineman, president of Vistaprint says that the optimism of female micro business owners about the future of their ventures is testament to how talented, resourceful and resilient they are as individuals.
‘Micro businesses are vital to the economy but are too often the unsung heroes of the business world. Our trend report shines a light on their inspiring achievements and helps to uncover the key areas of support that they require in order to grow,’ she adds.
‘At Vistaprint, our goal is to use research like this to continue innovating our solutions to equip micro business owners with what they need to achieve their business dreams.’
The British Small Business Awards is a key date in the calendar for bringing together small companies, service providers and advisers. It will be held on October 20th at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London.