Lack of role models stopping young women going into business

More young women than men said a lack of role models could be a barrier to setting up a business, according to a new survey

Almost twice as many young women than men have said a lack of role models could be a barrier to setting up a business, a survey has shown.

The online survey, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Facebook, shows that 13% of 16-22 year old women with an idea for a start-up said a lack of role models could be a barrier to setting up a business, compared to 7% of young men.

One in five young people have an idea for a start-up business, but almost half (46%) of young women do not think they could name a female business leader.

And 44% of young women with a business idea said being scared of failure could be a barrier to setting a business up, compared to 27% of young men.

In light of this, Facebook has launched a new book for aspiring entrepreneurs with advice from the UK’s top businesswomen.

young women
Each chapter focuses on a personal story from a senior business leader

‘Make it Work: Lessons from Life in Business’ is available to read online for free.

The book marks the next phase of Facebook’s #SheMeansBusiness programme – created in 2016 to help female entrepreneurs forge meaningful connections to pursue their business ideas.

Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA at Facebook, said: “More needs to be done to tackle the gender entrepreneurship gap. We hope this book encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams, and that they can benefit from a community of women coming together to share their advice.

If young women were inspired to start and scale new business at the same rate as men we could add £250bn to the UK economy

“When we started #SheMeansBusiness in 2016, it was because we recognised there wasn’t a level playing field for male and female entrepreneurs. If young women were inspired to start and scale new business at the same rate as men we could add £250bn to the UK economy.”

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