The latest reports on female entrepreneurship don't make an encouraging read. The most recent business statistics from the government have found that only one fifth of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) were owned or led by women in 2017. Statistics from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report (2017) don't paint a brighter picture either. In the UK, the Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) rate in 2017 was 5.6%, compared to the male rate of 11.9%. In other words, men are twice as likely as women to set up a business. The statistics about private investment are equally worrying. Research by Innovate UK has found that men are 86% more likely to receive private investment than women.
I am a proud European, and I relish international encounters, so when the opportunity came up to take part in the Startup Cruise (Newhaven-Dieppe), I didn’t hesitate in booking my seat.
Organised by Graham Precey and Mark Beaumont, Co-Founders of Newhaven Regeneration Group, in partnership with Normandy Ecospace, last Thursday, 4 April, I found myself with 40 other UK-based entrepreneurs on board the DFDS ferry ‘Seven Sisters’ – exploring the innovation and growth potential of my social enterprise, The Thrive Effect.