The Facebook She Means Business Campaign is on track to deliver core training and business inspiration to an additional 30,000 of the UK’s female entrepreneurs by the end of 2021 through its training partnership with Enterprise Nation.
Since its launch in 2016, the iconic campaign has already trained 30,000 women and the latest commitment will double that figure.
Over the next two years, the ambition is to broaden and widen the initiative withnew elements of sector-based training, increase in the number of accredited trainers, and introduce new partnerships with national support programmes including 10 Growth Hubs across the UK such as Manchester, London and Telford and Back Her Business, to ensure She Means Business is reaching all parts of the country and industries.
The campaign will also introduce a pioneering ‘Pay it Forward’ drive, which will see successful women, and alumni who have already benefitted from the campaign, share their knowledge and experience, helping to increase the number of relatable role models available to British-based women who want to start-up.
Emma Jones, founder, small business support network Enterprise Nation, said:“One of the findings from our initial research was that there was a real lack of access to relateable role models, and that this was partly what was holding women back from starting up.
“She Means Business has already made a difference to tens of thousands of women, and this year, we hope to increase that significantly to bridge the gap between male and female-run firms here in the UK.”
The campaign, which is also supported by the female entrepreneur collective Allbright and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), will be represented at three Festival of Female Entrepreneur events, hosted in Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh, as well as educating women at hundreds of local meet-ups and workshops on how to boost digital confidence and the all-important bottom line.
Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice President EMEA at Facebook, said: “It’s wonderful to see the She Means Business campaign continue to grow. Together with Enterprise Nation, we are excited to provide digital skills support to even more women this year to help them make their business ambitions a reality. Mentorship and training have been crucial to my career success, which is why I’m delighted so many more inspiring female entrepreneurs will have access to this programme.”
According to the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) UK men are still twice as likely as women to start a business. In 2018 the total early stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) amongst UK men was 10.5 per cent, but only 5.2 per cent amongst women. The UK enterprise gender gap lags behind that in the US where the start-up gap between men and women is much narrower, with women at three-quarters of the male rate.
Emma Jones said: “She Means Business continues to innovate and expand, in partnership with regional growth bodies, and backed by an army of alumni who choose to pass on the benefits of their training to help the next generation. It’s by continuing to support and raise awareness about all the good work women do, that we can start to change things.”
A study released this week by Copenhagen Economic shows that digital skills and tools can help businesses in all industries throughout Europe by reducing the costs of marketing and sales, reducing the barriers to entrepreneurship, expanding the reach of export markets, and facilitating innovation within businesses and throughout industries.
This study found this to be particularly true for female business owners with 58% of female founded businesses crediting social media with helping them to start and grow their businesses while 64% of female founded businesses found social media useful for product development.