By Jonathan London on 15th July 2015

New report shows surge in number of self-employed women

The number of women exploring their opportunities in the world of self-employment has increased considerably over the last few years, according to a new report.

Research conducted by eBay and Development Economics has revealed that the number of self-employed women in the UK rose by 28 per cent between 2009 and 2014, with the corresponding figure for men increasing by only ten per cent over the same period.

During these five years, the number of self-employed women in France grew by just 17 per cent and only five per cent in Italy, while in Germany the figure actually dropped by two per cent. This indicates that British women are ahead of the international curve in this respect.

One of the most popular avenues for women looking to start their own businesses is online retail. Indeed, eBay’s research indicated that the UK has the highest proportion of specialist online retail businesses established by women, with 54 per cent of these companies being female-led. By contrast, the figure is only 48 per cent in the US and 44 per cent in Germany.

The report also indicated that nearly ten per cent of British online businesses established by a female sole proprietor currently have employees, compared to only two per cent of male-run companies.

It suggests that women who start their own companies may be more likely to take on staff and create new jobs, further underlining the important contribution they make to the growth of the British economy.

Tanya Lawler, eBay’s UK chief executive officer, said: “We’re seeing more and more women set up successful enterprises, and for all the talk of a glass ceiling, Britain is actually a nation of self-made women.”

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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