High street boosted by female business owners

The number of small businesses started by women entrepreneurs on the high street has increased dramatically since the recession, reveals new research.

Almost half (49.5%) of small firms established in the last two years in retail, leisure, hotels and catering are primarily owned by women, according to a study of 8,000 companies by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

This is compared to businesses on the high street, which started more than 20 years ago, where only 24% of such businesses were female owned.

Further research by the FSB shows women business owners are less likely to take financial risks, borrowing an average of £18,700 for their business compared to £28,800 borrowed by male business owners.

Women are also more likely to work for a micro-business than larger firms, found the FSB research.

Unemployed women are only 75% as likely to secure a job in a firm employing 11 to 249 employees, as they are to work in a micro firm.