Women to be helped into business by new UK guide

Part of Finance 4 Start Up Britain is Prowess 2.0, which is something that is going to make it easier for women to get advice about the funding that is available through the start-up project. It is thought that there are many women in the UK who are being prevented from entering business because they have a gap in knowledge, when compared to men.

For this reason a new guide has been launched as part of the event which is going to help women get started in business. The guide has been put together by the women in business organisation and it is going to be able to help the increasingly large number of women who are starting businesses.

In the last four years the number of women who are running a business has increased by over 15 percent, while the increase in men has only been two percent. However, many people believe that lack of financial knowledge will cause many of these new ventures that are being run by women to fail.

Women use a much narrower range of finance options and start businesses with much lower levels of funding, across every size and sector of business. “When it comes to succeeding in business, whether you’re a man or a woman doesn’t matter a bit. With similar levels of start-up finance, women’s businesses perform just as well as those led by men,” says report author, Erika Watson. “While there is still some discrimination, that’s less of an issue than the gaps in knowledge about what’s available. Prowess 2.0 wants to support more women to succeed by providing the best information available.”

The practical 21 page e-book includes:

• A plain-English overview of all the main types of UK business finance, including loans, grants, equity, bootstrapping, crowdfunding and more.

• The pros and cons of the main types of funding and whether there’s a women’s angle or route. For example, women are much less likely to seek Business Angel funding, but just as likely to succeed when they do.

• Exercises to help women understand and deal with their own financial psychology. Money is a topic which academics agree is more emotionally loaded for women than it is for men.

Erika Watson has an MBE for services to women’s enterprise and was a member of the Government appointed Women’s Enterprise Task Force. She says: “the Task Force report brought together a substantial body of research on how access to finance was a barrier for women in business, but we couldn’t find any practical information resources like this for women.” Prowess 2.0’s Women’s Business Finance Guide fills the gap and will enable more women to make the most of all the financial opportunities open to their business.

The report is free to download from www.prowess.org.uk