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Record number of women starting new companies in West Midlands – report

Written by on 28/02/2022

More women than ever before are starting new companies in the West Midlands, new research has found.

A study led by NatWest CEO Alison Rose found that 13,796 companies were established by women in the region last year, more than triple the amount in 2018 when the figure stood at just 4,134.

The Rose Review Progress Report 2022 also suggests that female founded businesses account for a record share of new firms, outstripping growth in male-led firms for the first time.

Across the UK, more than 140,000 companies were established by all-women teams last year – with 10 per cent of those being founded by young women aged between 16 and 25.

READ MORE: The 18 women leading top firms in the FTSE 350 in 2022

Rose Review author and NatWest Group CEO Alison Rose said: “Data shows that more women than ever are starting new businesses and we must harness this potential.

“That means more financial institutions committing to delivering change and funding. We also need more direct support for businesses across the UK and we must propose fresh, imaginative solutions to the challenges posed by women’s caring responsibilities.”

In 2019, the Treasury commissioned Ms Rose to lead an independent review of female entrepreneurship.

The latest report sets out the full extent of the progress made over the last two years, and outlines the extra support needed for female-led businesses to thrive, and the challenges that they have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Research shows that the impact of Covid-19 risks holding back progress and suggests that, despite the rapid growth in female led start-ups, female entrepreneurs have spent twice as long on caring responsibilities during the pandemic as their male counterparts – and that their businesses have been less likely to recover.

Ms Rose added: “We have seen real progress since 2019. Getting more funding to female entrepreneurs and unlocking their untapped potential continues to be a priority across our industry.

“But women still don’t receive all the support they need and the pandemic risks holding back progress, so we must go further to achieve the goals of the Rose Review.”

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Members of the Rose Review board have announced extra measures to boost support for female entrepreneurs.

This includes the launch of a nationwide ‘Women Backing Women’ campaign to support women to become business angels and ensure female founders have a better chance of accessing early-stage investment, wherever their businesses are based.

Other measures include expanded schemes to provide networking and mentoring opportunities to supports hundreds of thousands of female founders over the next three years and a recruitment campaign to encourage even more institutions to sign up to the Investing In Women Code.

The Investing in Women Code was launched in 2019, as a commitment by financial services firms to improving female entrepreneurs’ access to tools, resources and finance.

To date, a total of 134 institutions – with an investing power of nearly £1 trillion – have now signed up to the code.

Small Business Minister, Paul Scully MP said: “We’re making the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business, and that means unleashing the entrepreneurial talents of everyone across the country.

“This report shows women are shattering the entrepreneurial glass ceiling, which is a huge step forward in ensuring our economy and society is making best use of all our talents. I’m looking forward to the further progress this year will bring through the Investing in Women Code, Start Up Loans and more.”

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