Increase in Female Start-Ups as Women Entrepreneurs Capitalise on Lifestyle Trends

By Simply Business, PRNE
Sunday, December 11, 2011

LONDON, December 12, 2011 -

  • 12 per cent increase in female-run start-ups this year
  • Female owned businesses now account for 37 per cent of all UK start-ups

More women than ever are choosing to work for themselves, according to new data from Simply Business, the UK’s largest online business insurance broker.  

The company has seen a 12 per cent increase in quote requests from women starting up businesses over the past twelve months, with women now accounting for 37 per cent of all start-up businesses, up from 33 per cent last year.  

The figures are based on over 117,000 start-up business quote requests received by Simply Business so far this year, of which 42,928 were for business start-ups owned by women, up from 34,116 at the same time in 2010.  

Topping the chart for female start-up businesses are creative and service based industries; with cleaners, beauticians, hairdressers and caterers  dominating the top ten.  However, women are also holding their own in ‘hard-skill’ industries. Accountancy and financial advisory is the tenth most popular female start-up business and there has been a 16 per cent rise in self-employed female lawyers over the past year.

Top 10 most popular female start-ups

1.    Cleaner

2.    Beautician

3.    Hairdresser

4.    Pet Minder

5.    Cake Maker

6.    Market Trader

7.    Caterer / Chef

8.    Teaching / Training

9.    Accountant / IFA

Female entrepreneurs appear to be particularly skilled at capitalizing on emerging lifestyle trends. There has been a 95 per cent increase in women starting up as market traders since 2009, as they embrace the recent popularity for local market produce.  This is now the sixth most popular start up business for women.  Similarly, pet-minding and cake-making have also both grown dramatically over the past year, as has complementary therapy, with a 15 per cent rise.  

There has also been a sharp rise in the number of women setting up shop in the traditionally public sector spheres of education and health; with female start-up education consultants up by 61 per cent and independent nursing businesses by 46 per cent.

Jason Stockwood, CEO of Simply Business, commented: “With unemployment at its highest for 23 years it is encouraging to see that more and more women are embracing the opportunity to set up on their own. Entrepreneurship can provide fantastic lifestyle and financial benefits, not to mention the boost it can potentially bring to the economy, with Teresa May recently saying that female talent could be worth an extra £60bn. With more than ever high-profile businesswomen, like Mary Portas, Jo Malone and Michelle Mone, as inspiration, plus support such as the new mentor programme being driven by the Government, we expect the number of female entrepreneurs will keep on growing in the future.”

Notes to editors: For further information, please contact: Sophie Howard/Elisabeth Middlemas, +44(0)20-7009-3128/3116 , Simplybusiness at

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