How startup behaviour amongst women has changed since the pandemic

Covid-19 has changed many aspects of all our lives – especially for female entrepreneurs. Business sectors dominated by women were the first to be hit and the last to receive financial assistance. Women running their businesses from home had to manage their work whilst maintaining childcare. The United Nations even warned that the pandemic could dilute decades of advancements in gender equality.

The challenges for female entrepreneurs were amplified. But, it’s not all doom and gloom. The pandemic highlighted the power of female resilience, our resilience to contribute to community-based organisations, and reminded us of the importance of seeking and giving support to and from our peers.

The pandemic has also changed startup behaviour amongst women for the better. In a recent study conducted by IONOS, 500 participants from the UK were questioned about their careers and their thoughts on self-employment. The women in the business survey had some interesting things to say…

What is holding women back from starting their own businesses?

According to data from Prosper Insights & Analytics, men still outnumber women 2:1 in terms of business ownership. In the UK, only 1.7 million of the 4.35 self-employed people are women.

Yet in the IONOS study, almost 61% of the female participants said that they would like to run their own businesses. What is holding women back? The women from the study stated financial support as the biggest obstacle and requested access to quicker funding routes when starting their entrepreneurial journey.

Why do women want to become entrepreneurs?

When asked about the most important factor in a job, 70% of the female participants stated a work-life balance and flexible working hours to be essential. Almost 61% of the women in the survey stated that their dreams of becoming self-employed stem from wanting to avoid unequal workplace treatment.

It would be reasonable to assume the pandemic demonstrated the importance of job security, however, for our female participants, they felt they could rely more on themselves than their employer to provide financial security during times of crisis.

New opportunities for women in business

The number of self-employed women is continuing to rise. COVID-19 increased aspirations for women in business, and as a result, how women would run their businesses has changed too. The pandemic had the potential to set female-led businesses back, but their ability and resilience to continue in their entrepreneurial journey is evident.

To read more about how people’s attitudes towards self-employment have changed since the pandemic, download the British Dreams and Wishes: A Business Survey for free.