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Cost-of-living crisis unleashes new generation of female entrepreneurs, GoDaddy survey reveals

  • The gender split of British microbusiness founders in the last 12 months is 46% female vs 53% male, a much narrower gap than microbusiness owners in general (38% female vs 60% male)
  • The shift could be due to flexible working patterns and the normalisation of working from home, GoDaddy experts believe
  • But obstacles remain to female entrepreneurship as 82% are still responsible for domestic chores and 44% see childcare as a barrier
  • GoDaddy salutes ‘Unstoppable Women in Business’ ahead of International Women’s Day 2023

The proportion of British microbusinesses owned by women has surged during the cost-of-living crisis and since the start of the pandemic, new data from GoDaddy shows.

Research conducted among microbusiness owners* shows that, in general, the gender split is 38% female, 60% male and 2% non-binary. But in businesses that have launched since 2020, the split is 47% female vs 52% male, and in businesses created in the past 12 months it’s 46% female vs 53% male.

However, GoDaddy’s ‘Unstoppable Women’ study also shows that female founders face different challenges from their male counterparts.

While 78% of female entrepreneurs believe there are more opportunities for women owning a business rather than working for someone else, many still contend with pressures outside of work. Over four fifths of female business owners (82%) say they are responsible for most domestic household duties, while 44% say the costs and expectations associated with childcare are a barrier to female entrepreneurship. Almost half (46%) of the respondents to the GoDaddy survey said they have children under 18.

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In general, set-up costs (52%) and time commitments (48%) were highlighted as the biggest obstacles to women starting a business, despite 72% of female founders creating their business for under £1,000.

One female entrepreneur who has overcome challenging circumstances to set-up a thriving microbusiness is GoDaddy customer Catherine Sweet, founder of Bobcat Gallery.

She says: “Caring responsibilities towards members of my family held me back from starting my own business for a long time. I was always passionate about making art buying more inclusive and affordable while showcasing emerging artists, but while being a carer I could never find the time, resources or mental space. When my situation changed and my former employer went through a restructure, I decided to take a leap of faith and follow my dream. Working with GoDaddy, I was able to easily launch the Bobcat Gallery website, which has enabled me to grow my business and establish credibility in the art world.”

Tamara Oppen, GoDaddy Vice President, adds: “Women want to start businesses and become entrepreneurs, but too often they face barriers which prevent them from doing so. However, the rise in flexible working patterns and working from home has made it easier to fit in running a microbusiness alongside other commitments. At GoDaddy, we pride ourselves on helping all entrepreneurs thrive, and ahead of International Women’s Day, we are saluting women like Catherine who are achieving great success against the odds. They really are unstoppable.”

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