The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is aiming to increase the number of women entrepreneurs accessing alternative finance (AltFin) in the run up to International Women’s Day (8 March).
The UK has 5.7 million small businesses and self-employed, but it is estimated that could be boosted by a further 1.2 million new enterprises led by women. The untapped business potential of women is, in part, due to a lack of awareness of, and access to, finance, according to FSB research.
FSB has now launched a new FCA-regulated funding platform giving access to a choice of over 120 lenders, matched to the applicants’ needs and circumstances.
Julie Lilley, FSB’s chief operating officer (pictured above), said: “A key FSB recommendation has been to improve access to finance for women entrepreneurs because it would boost women entrepreneurship in the UK. Twenty five per cent of women small business owners cited the ability to access finance as a key challenge.
“Women entrepreneurs are less likely to seek alternative finance than their male counterparts. We know that too many women rely on personal cash and credit for growth. The reasons for this are complex but are partly to do with a lack of awareness of the opportunities available.
“There’s much to be done to harness the untapped potential of women in business, but this new financial platform is a step in the right direction.”
As well as raising awareness of alternative finance to women in enterprise, FSB will be marking International Women’s Day on 8 March as it is committed to forging positive visibility of women in enterprise and celebrating their achievements.
In Kent, business owners are invited to hear from three keynote speakers at a celebratory women in business lunch at Turkey Mill, Maidstone on 8 March 2018.