Women-Led Businesses Driving the UK Economy

Spinks, formerly Mortimer Spinks and Founders4Schoolslaunch Mapped, a report aimed at looking at the fastest-growing women led businesses in the UK.

Women-Led Businesses Driving the UK Economy

What is it all about? For the fourth year, Founders4Schools has combined key financial performance indicators from open datasets (LinkedIn and DueDil), to map the performance of the fastest-growing women-led businesses across the UK, with a turnover of £1 million to £250 million. We’re excited to share this 2018-2019 data, showing women in the driving seat of high growth, dynamic businesses in every corner of the UK - spanning sectors as diverse as Agriculture, Manufacturing, Information and Communication, Quarrying and Transportation.

To complement the numbers, we’ve spoken with female entrepreneurs and leaders all over the country to learn more about their personal journeys. We’re incredibly grateful that they’ve allowed us to share these stories here; powering the data with compelling narratives of dreams, determination and grit; in addition to advice and encouragement for those looking to follow in their footsteps. What did we find?

Over the course of 2018, women-led businesses contributed a sensational £27.3 billion in turnover to the UK economy. Some 44% of women-led businesses grew at a rate of 20%; and 21% grew at an incredible rate of 50% or more. That’s a lot of influencing power!

Businesses with balanced leadership deliver a higher return on investment. In fact, we found that in certain heavily male dominated industries, women-led businesses

outperform overall industry averages. For example, in Construction - an industry experiencing overall decline over the past year - women-led companies showed turnover growth of almost 24 per cent. With women poised to succeed in sectors most affected by automation (1), this could be an upward trend - especially given levels of predicted disruption in the construction industry. Tracking turnover increase across industries and geographies allows us to paint the broad overall picture that women deliver job creation, wealth, opportunity - and reasons to relocate to, or invest in, parts of the UK outside of the London bubble. With such a thriving ecosystem for growth, there really are no limits for girls growing up in this country. This report is filled with both qualitative and quantitative evidence to support that.

Why is it important?

Female representation matters. Full stop. Women represent a hugely overlooked and underestimated market. Female purchasing power in the UK is huge, with women thought to influence anywhere between 65% and 75% of all household purchasing decisions. On the flip side, 83% of deals that UK Venture Capitalists (VCs) made last year had no women at all on the founding teams, signalling an absurd amount of missed opportunity.(2)After all, who are these businesses building products and services for?

Women want to be invested in by VCs who resonate with the cultures they’re trying to build and, in a crucial step towards parity and a brighter future for our UK economy, female focused funds are now being launched more frequently. One such fund is former entrepreneur Anya Navidski’s Voulez Capital, who are being overwhelmed with response. The UK Government previously reported that boosting female entrepreneurship could boost the economy by up to £180 million.

This 2019 analysis shows it’s no longer good enough for VCs to say there are no women out there to invest in, because there are no shortage of women-led businesses

generating exceptional returns.

What can we learn?

The stories featured in this publication come from women of all ages, backgrounds, cultures and academic disciplines, but one thing they do have in common is passion. Whether it’s passion to drive a change, to defy the odds, or to prove themselves – this, combined with perseverance and resilience, has refreshed the ethos of companies across the nation. With 17 stories, this year’s publication demonstrates the wealth of talent and diverse approaches of women in the UK. By sharing their experiences, challenges and successes, we aim to give every reader the opportunity to ask the right questions and make the right decisions. Together we are more.

What more can we do?

We all have a role to play in normalising female leadership and we can begin by recognising and celebrating the success of women-led businesses. Governments, schools and organisations must seek innovative ways to support girls to reach their full potential, champion female leadership and encourage female entrepreneurship. We can all join forces with Founders4Schools by signing up to the Workfinder app today and giving the gift of role models - pass this research on to a future leader!

Kayleigh McHale#YouEqualTech community Co-founder@Kayleigh_McHale

Reena BhattMarketing Executive at Mortimer Spinks, YouEqualTech community Co-organiser@ReenaBh4tt

If you're interested in reading more please check this link: F4S_2019 - final.pdf (oliver-dev.s3.amazonaws.com)

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