JournoLink uses cookies JournoLink requires cookies to function. You can read more in our Privacy Policy


More women starting their own business than men in the UK for the first time ever

23 November 2015 10:00


Leading enterprise agency for Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, Wenta, have become a founder member of the Charter for Women in Business, just launched by Prowess, which aims to close a business development gap costing the UK economy billions each year.

More women are starting their own business than men in the UK for the first time ever. These women are ambitious. Some 14% want to hire more staff this year. With nearly 1 million women-led SMEs in the UK that could mean around 140,000 new jobs, according to a government report.

But despite the start-up surge and clear ambitions, women’s businesses aren’t accessing the same level of support and they are less likely to survive and grow than men’s businesses. The Charter for Women in Business is a practical initiative to close the gender gap.

Award-winning Wenta have been providing a wealth of business start-up advice and support to local people for the past 32 years. Within this time, they have delivered a large number of successful programmes specifically aimed at helping women in business. This includes the current Women and Broadband Programme, a free scheme in Central Beds, Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes which helps ladies to start or grow their business by getting online and taking advantage of faster broadband.

Wenta have also recently launched a women’s business networking group at Champney’s Tring called ‘Sapphire’. This offers a unique mix of advice, networking events, training, mentoring and online support.

“We are excited to have now become a member of The Charter for Women in Business. Here at Wenta, we continually encourage and support local business women and we feel proud to be a part of this initiative.” says Sharon Gaffney, Head of Training and Skills at Wenta.

Prowess Director Erika Watson, who was awarded an MBE for services to women’s enterprise, says:

“The Charter builds on international best practice and more importantly the women we’ve surveyed give it their full approval. We’re inviting business support and services providers to join Wenta by signing up to the Charter themselves and letting their staff and clients know that they are serious about sharing in women’s business success.”

The Charter for Women in Business is available online at It includes a code of practice, online training and marketing tools which will better equip supporters of start-ups and small companies to reach and support the growing market of women in business.

Wenta’s ‘Sapphire’ women’s business networking takes place on the first Thursday of every month and the next one is on Thursday 3rd December at Champney’s Tring. For more information visit:

For more information on Wenta visit


Notes for Editor

For more information contact:

Jennifer Dong - Marketing Coordinator
The Wenta Business Centre
Colne Way
WD24 7ND

Tel: 01923 691 370

Key facts about UK women in business

• Since 2008 the number of self-employed women has increased from just over 1 million to almost 1.5 million. (ONS statistics 2008 – 2015). The proportion of women-led businesses that are employers has dropped from a peak of 19% in 2012 to 18% in 2014 (BIS Small Business Survey 2015). The self-employment gender pay gap has widened to 40% (Guardian analysis of ONS stats, 8 March 2014).

• Small businesses contribute £386 billion to the UK economy (BIS 2015). It’s estimated that women-led small businesses contribute around £70 billion. (Women’s Enterprise Task Force report 2009). RBS has calculated that boosting female entrepreneurship could deliver approximately £60bn extra to the UK economy. (RBS 2013).

• Women’s businesses that become established do just as well as their male counterparts, but they grow more slowly and are more likely to close in the early days. Too many are held back by lower levels of funding and resources and consequent lower levels of self-confidence at start-up. (RBS 2013)

• Enterprise training doubles women’s chances of starting a business, and triples their level of confidence in their abilities. (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2010) Women are significantly more likely to participate in training that is targeted specifically to their needs. (

• Sharon Gaffney of Wenta is available for interview. Tel: 01923 691370, email: to arrange.

• Prowess Founder, Erika Watson MBE is available for interview. Tel: 0797 5743281

• The Charter for Women in Business is an initiative of Prowess, the online hub providing inspiration, information and support for UK women in business.

• Wenta was founded in 1983 to encourage business start-ups and to support small businesses in South and West Hertfor

Download as PDF | Report this press release

Attached Images

Press Contacts

Jennifer Dong

Marketing Coordinator

Tel: 01923691370


About Wenta

Wenta are the leading Enterprise Agency in Herts and Beds offering Business Advice, Office/Workshop space and Education & Training programmes.
T: 0845 371 0891

View JournoLink Profile


Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn


For more information on JournoLink and how to receive more content like this, please visit