Over half (53%) of women setting up their business are parents as well, according to a new UK poll of over 1,000 women entrepreneurs from Business Link. Whilst many found that owning their own business helped them spend more time with their families, a worrying 24% actually had less time with their children.
The poll took into account the views of women entrepreneurs throughout the UK. It found the majority of women business owners started their new company when they were already mothers, often with the intention of working more flexibly and having more time to spend with their family.
Whilst over half achieved this, almost a quarter (24%) found that the demands of starting a business meant that they spent less time at home. Women starting recruitment, legal or finance companies reported the biggest impact, with over half stating they had less time with their families after setting up in the business world.
Diana Robertson, marketing and communications director at Business Link in London, comments: “Many entrepreneurs start their own business driven by a desire for a better work/life balance. It’s something many achieve, but the first few months and years of a new enterprise can be an incredibly busy time. If the last couple of years has taught us anything about the business world, it’s that it can be challenging to create and maintain a solid and successful organisation.
“The key is to go into it with your eyes open. The rewards – both personal and professional – of running your own business can be immense, but it isn’t something that comes easily. Establishing a reputation and building firm foundations for a long term business can be a time consuming task. The short term impact on things like family life need to be considered.
“That’s not to say that, with careful planning, a better work life balance can’t be achieved in the short term. If you’re thinking of setting up on your own, go out and get advice from all the sources open to you. Speak with Business Link, speak with your friends and family, speak with other successful women entrepreneurs – get a firm grip of what you need to do to succeed and make a balanced decision on what impact it will have on your home life.”
The same poll also found that the gender barriers were beginning to close for women entrepreneurs. 20% of women entrepreneurs feel they have to work harder than men to prove themselves in the business world; a significant improvement from this time last year, when a similar poll showed 38% felt they had to work harder.
Diana Robertson, continues: “Women entrepreneurs in the SME sector are making noticeable inroads to gender barriers. As International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8th March, these entrepreneurs have never been in a stronger position.”
For further information on how Business Link can help your business, call 0845 600 9 006 or visit www.businesslink.gov.uk.