Record number of businesses created by women in 2023

Record number of businesses created by women in 2023
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Fri 29th Dec 2023

The number of new businesses incorporated by female founders has reached a record high this year, according to new figures.

Females have created 160,730 firms in the UK to date in 2023, bring the total women-led companies to 874,730, according to the Gender Index, AI-powered research of over 4.6 million active companies.

The figure is a rise of almost 10,000 firms compared to the 150,000 companies created by women in 2022, which itself was a record high according to the Rose Review of female entrepreneurship led by former NatWest chief executive Alison Rose.

Jill Pay, chairman of The Gender Index, said:

"For the second successive year the Gender Index has shown an increase in the number of women across the four nations that are setting up companies, which is a further step in the right direction in boosting female entrepreneurship across the UK.

"More young women and ethnic minorities are raising external capital and running female-led companies than ever before, reflecting our belief that everyone regardless of age, race or gender should not face barriers to starting a business."

Despite the rise in female entrepreneurship, women still make up only around 17% of all entrepreneurs in the UK and research released earlier this year by the Gender Index showed accessing finance remains a challenge for female start-up founders.

Of all active female-led companies, less than a quarter accessed finance in 2022/23, compared to male-led companies which captured seven times more funding than females, averaging 70% of total funding in the period between 2021/22 and 2022/23.

Researched by the British Business Bank found that all-female founded businesses in the UK got only 2% of equity investment during 2022, a figure that has not improved since 2011.

In 2019, Alison Rose revealed that the UK economy could be boosted by £250 billion and 1.1 million more businesses if more was done to close the gender gap in British entrepreneurship.

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance journalist and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I'm also Enterprise Nation's news reporter and Bristol Local Leader. I have 20 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from famous names like Sir Richard Branson and Deborah Meaden to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I now freelance for Enterprise Nation as the website's news reporter and as the host of the Small Business sessions podcast. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community in my role as Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I also have strong connections with other major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 100 events including conferences with an audience of hundreds for international brands like Xero and Facebook and live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography.

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