Alison Rose, CEO of commercial and private banking at NatWest, and author of the review.

The Alison Rose Review

The government-commissioned Rose Review examines the barriers women in business face and what can be done to overcome them.

    Highlights
  • The advancement of female entrepreneurs is a £250bn opportunity for the UK economy
  • Currently, female entrepreneurs are underrepresented in the manufacturing, IT, financial services and transportation sectors
  • The Rose Review recommends increasing funding for women who want to start a business, and providing greater family care support so they can reach their goals

The UK is the start-up capital of Europe, attracting more venture capital than any other European country, yet only one in three UK entrepreneurs is female. In comparison with 15% of women in Canada, almost 11% of women in the US, and over 9% of women in Australia and the Netherlands, only 5.6% of UK women run their own companies.

But without more women in business, the UK is losing out. According to a new government-backed review by Alison Rose, CEO of commercial and private banking at NatWest, boosting female entrepreneurship could add £250bn to the economy.

“We need the creativity and innovation that comes from diversity to keep up with the rapidly changing world around us”

Rose was appointed by Robert Jenrick, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, to identify the entrepreneurial gender gap and what could be done to reduce it. Her findings, published to coincide with International Women’s Day, reveal that female entrepreneurs are underrepresented in high-value sectors such as manufacturing, IT and communications, and financial services.

What’s holding women back? Rose’s review says access to funding, risk awareness, primary care responsibilities and perception of skills are among the barriers female entrepreneurs need to overcome. And in order to do that, she recommends eight initiatives the private sector (and parts of the public sector) can take forward, including: increased funding; support from private investors; the expansion of mentoring and networking opportunities; and accelerating the rollout of entrepreneurial courses to schools and colleges.

Rose says: “Business has a big part to play in making the UK the best place to start and scale a business, regardless of gender. It’s clear that tailored support from specialists who understand the different challenges that female business owners face, as well as the way they think and run their business, makes a real difference to success rates.

“We need the creativity and innovation that comes from diversity to keep up with the rapidly changing world around us. The goal of this report is to help build a stronger, more productive economy by making the UK the best country in the world for women to start and grow new businesses.”

To read the full report, click the link below.

The Alison Rose Review
The Alison Rose Review: infographic
Updated: 19 June 2019