Ground breaking research conducted by Asian Women Mean Business (AWMB), an organisation that mentors and champions entrepreneurial Asian women, has revealed some disturbing facts about British Asian women in business. These include:
- 74% of Asian women feel that Asian culture is holding them back from starting a business
- 88% felt that there were not enough role models for Asian women in business
- 51% have experienced discrimination based on their sex
- 44% have experienced discrimination based on their race
The results are summarised in this infographic:
The findings are based on research carried out by AWMB this year. 211 Asian women completed an online anonymous survey, focus groups were held in Midlands and London to really understand the challenges and barriers facing Asian women in business – either those considering starting a business, planning one or indeed running one.
The research is the first in depth look into this community. The founders Rupinder Kaur & Panna Chauhan, who collectively have 25 years business experience, commissioned the research because as Panna says:
‘Although we know the Asian community is entrepreneurial and has experienced great success with British Asian businesses contributing between 6-10% of UK’s GDP despite only making up 4% of population. The Global Enterprise Monitor, 2005 showed that Black women are four times more likely than Asian women to start and grow their businesses. We wanted to find out why that was the case and commissioned the research into the attitudes, motivations and thoughts of Asian women in business.
We wanted to understand why the gap between black women engaging in entrepreneurial activity was significantly higher than Asian women.’
Rupinder explains the findings:
‘Asian women are telling us they want to start and grow their businesses but they need specific help. Our culture is holding them back, as is a lack of awareness of the support available to them. They want more information and opportunities to network with other like minded women. AWMB provides all of this.
All our services are a direct response to what this community are telling us they want and need. We provide a unique environment where women can experience empathy and understanding to share their business journeys and entrepreneurial dreams.
We are finding that our women are connected by their cultural beliefs, their outlook but most importantly their desire to achieve success in the business environment whilst remaining true to their family, their culture and their faith.’
To kick start our community into action, we will be launching our online programme’s – Inspire, Ignite and Immerse tailored to women who are at the different stages of their business journey. If you are contemplating starting a business, are newly established or are serious about taking your established business to the next level these programmes are built for you.
AWMB also hosts weekly twitter chats every Wednesday from 7pm-8pm using the hashtag #asianwomenmeanbiz, as well as quarterly networking events in London and Birmingham. This is a unique opportunity to meet and connect with like minded women interested in entrepreneurship and has led to successful collaborations.