Press release

Majority of female entrepreneurs intend to use technology to grow

Majority of female entrepreneurs intend to use technology to grow
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation

Posted: Sun 1st Jan 2023

More than three fifths of women leading UK small businesses are using technology to make active plans to grow their company this year, according to data from small business support platform Enterprise Nation.

The data, released on International Women's Day, shows that women made up around two thirds of the business founders that have accessed a digital diagnostic tool called Make a Plan to create a business strategy, and tapped into the resources and mentoring offered as part of Mastercard's Strive UK programme.

The highest majority of women compared to male-founded businesses using the tool was in the South West (65%) but other areas saw very similar proportions -- for example the North West (64%), and the North East (63%).

The app is also reaching entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, with 38 per cent of all those accessing the app from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups.

Marketing was the area where most business owners were seeking support (16%), followed by digital skills (13%), and sales (12%).

Strive UK is Mastercard's programme to support the UK's micro and small businesses to succeed in the digital economy through training, mentoring and support. It's particularly focused on helping businesses led by women or those from ethnic-minority backgrounds.

Emma Jones, CBE, founder and CEO of Enterprise Nation, said: "This data sends a really strong message that women are powering on and soaking up all support available to increase their business resilience and tech know-how in innovative ways.

"Strive UK aims to bridge the gap between those that have digital skills and those that have not, but it also demonstrates the need for this kind of support to be easily accessible and available to all sizes and stages of business, as well as to a more diverse business community.

"It's important to embed these skills early, so that all businesses have the ability to capitalise on the growth opportunities they find."

The data found female-founders were overwhelmingly accessing the Make a Plan app across all stages of business growth, pre-start, start-up and those already in the growth stage, compared to male founders.

Case study

Karen Oliver launched her self-help resource Beyond the Bathroom Scale for women who want to heal from disordered eating and body image.

The former social worker is a specialist in coaching based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and bases her work on clinical research into the areas of intuitive eating, body image and eating disorders.

She said: "The Make a Plan tool helped me figure out where to look for help and advice first, and what to prioritise. I liked that everything is categorised for me, so I can choose a focus for each day that I set aside to work on my business, rather than working in it."

When she launched the business in 2021, Karen was juggling caring for her late father as well as a new baby.

She said: "I remember feeling very overwhelmed! I was doing many different jobs all at the same time. Some days I was in accounting mode, other days I had to think like a marketing manager, then I'd spend a portion of my time creating and designing content or building my website and app.

"In the early days of business, it feels like everything is competing for your attention.

"My way of coping with this now is to use digital project management tools. I set up different projects in there, which I think of as separate 'departments' in my business.

"I plan every task out for each of these 'departments' and schedule it, then look at my overall calendar to see which tasks I can delegate to a freelancer, which I can automate, and what I need to prioritise for each day."


About Enterprise Nation

Enterprise Nation is a business support platform and provider delivering support to more than 700,000 small businesses every year. Its aim is to help people turn their good ideas into great businesses -- through expert advice (including a comprehensive resources library), events, acceleration support and networking.

Enterprise Nation was founded in 2005 by British entrepreneur Emma Jones CBE, also co-founder of national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain.

Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

Start your business journey today

Take the first step to successfully starting and growing your business.