The Rise of the Everyday Entrepreneur New report reveals a boom in home-based businesswomen

Move over Branson, Sugar and Caan, a new report from a leading academic reveals over two thirds (68%) of female business start-ups are so-called ‘everyday entrepreneurs’ .
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May 8, 2012 - PRLog -- Based on research conducted with 1,000 self-employed businesswomen , the Avon ‘Everyday Entrepreneur Report’ shows these women are breaking the Branson mould and hadn’t planned to be self-employed business owners . In fact, enterprising women are supporting the UK economy by running thriving enterprises, often from home, and appear to be motivated by flexibility and a passion more than the idea of money and power, with most not even connecting with the word ‘entrepreneur’ .  

For women to attain the flexibility and career progression they crave in the current economic climate, many are opting to start their own business, according to the new report authored by Professor Julie Logan of Cass Business School for Avon UK.  

The Avon ‘Everyday Entrepreneur’ Report – so-called by the report author because it has uncovered a new breed of business innovator – reveals that female entrepreneurs are opting to run their enterprises from home and often require little investment to get up and running.

Comments Angela Tucker, Avon UK Sales Director:
“The Avon ‘Everyday Entrepreneur’ Report demonstrates that self-employed women are contributing in multiple ways – to society, their families and, crucially, to the UK economy, with 84% of respondents expecting their business to grow or at least stay the same size over the next three years.”

The report, which today will be debated by leading businesswomen, including Avon mentor, Karren Brady, paints a picture of female-led enterprise and its value today and shows:

Why ‘everyday entrepreneurs’ are starting up their own businesses:
•   One third (33%) of respondents to the Avon ‘Everyday Entrepreneur’ Report research, which was conducted by Ipsos Mori and polled 1,000 self-employed women and female business-owners , cited flexibility in their work life as the main reason for starting their own venture.  
•   With women in employment carrying the burden of longer hours and less stability, four in ten (41%) self-employed or business-owner women who had a career changing‘lightbulb’ moment experienced this whilst in a previous job and decided to go it alone.  

What motivates them as business owners:
•   Female business-owners are frequently “kitchen-table entrepreneurs” with 64% of businesswomen questioned running their enterprises from home.  Forget swanky head offices, home-working enables ‘everyday entrepreneurs’ to fit their career around family or other commitments and keep overheads down.  
•   59%of respondents stated flexibility was the most enjoyable part of running their own business.
•   One in three ‘everyday entrepreneurs’ questioned started a business around a hobby or an existing passion (31%). Supplementing their own or family income was only a key motivation for starting a business for 13% of respondents  
•   That’s not to say there are no financial rewards – almost half (45%) of the women questioned said they were the chief income earner in their household.  

The financials involved:
•   Four in ten  respondents required no investment to get their enterprise up and running, suggesting that women are looking for self-employment options that insulate their family against financial instability and have low barriers to entry.
•   The Avon report suggests that with 84% of respondents expecting their business to stay the same size or grow over the next three years, the ‘everyday entrepreneur’ could offer significant value to the UK economy.  

The generation gap:
•   Young women aged 18-34 are more likely to consider themselves entrepreneurs  and embrace this as a career trajectory from the outset  but they are driven by the idea of fulfilling a dream or passion with 39% of women who named this as their motivation under 35 years old.
•   And younger women were more optimistic about their business prospects, with 52% under-35s expecting growth, compared to 21% of women aged 55-64.

How we could encourage more female enterprise:
•   28% of those questioned felt that more women could be encouraged to start up their own ventures if more mentoring and business start-up courses were made available to women and 29% felt more could be encouraged if the success of self-employed women was highlighted more in the media
•   Most female business owners  don’t connect with the word “entrepreneur”, with 74% saying they did not consider themselves to be entrepreneurs.  
•   Professor Julie Logan summarised her report as showing:
o    That the popular view of entrepreneurship – as viewed through programmes like Dragon’s Den – is seen as focused on making money and is synonymous with “men making money”.
o   Today’s female business leaders want to see more everyday role models in the public eye and for the industry terminology to change to better reflect how businesses are run now.  

Professor Julie Logan comments:
“Contrary to the popular view, our findings show that when it comes to female entrepreneurs, they are not powered by ego but by the promise of flexibility, fulfillment and fun.  The report explores how young women are more likely to embrace entrepreneurship as a career option and embark on this career trajectory from the outset.  As these young women create ventures that grow and employ people this will have a very positive impact on the UK economy.”

Comments Karren Brady:
For a long time now the idea of success in enterprise has been synonymous with male personalities.  What women want to see is more examples of female entrepreneurs who run successful businesses that fit their lifestyle choices but don’t necessarily have to turn over multi-millions of pounds.  Today’s findings show that there are a multitude of women who have enterprises that give them satisfaction and excitement and are profitable without putting them on the rich list.”

Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Theresa May said:
“Women have a vital role to play in our economic recovery, and this report shows an increasing number are setting up their own businesses, which is really positive news.This government is actively encouraging more entrepreneurs, for example by providing 5,000 mentors specifically trained to advise women who want to start or grow their own business. This can be a particularly attractive option to those who are juggling work and family life. We have set up a Women's Business Council to provide advice on how to further improve the business environment for women and maximise their contribution to economic growth.”

Says Angela Tucker, Avon UK Sales Director:
“What today’s report shows us is that women can develop their own income stream without the backing of big banks and with the support of positive role models and mentors.  Karren Brady has been working with us in this capacity as mentor to our Independent Avon Representatives, as we continue to respond to the appetite for enterprise.  It is the combination of low risk, low cost venture and the huge support network of experts and 6.4 million Independent Avon Representatives worldwide that has made Avon’s business model so endurable.”  

Adds Siobhan Benita, independent candidate in the 2012 London mayoral election and working mum: “This report just goes to show how creative and entrepreneurial women can be. Government and public leaders need to do everything possible to harness all of this female talent and allow women to flourish in business while combining it with all the other demands on their lives. In my own professional career I have taken action to improve gender equality and improve opportunities for women.”

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