Which cities and trades attract the most female entrepreneurs?

In the wake of the 41st International Women’s Day, we’ve looked into our small business data to find out which cities appeal most to female entrepreneurs, and what sort of businesses they’re setting up.

Women make more successful entrepreneurs than men, according to recent studies, which also suggest that women are leading the way when it comes to small businesses. This is where – and how – they’re doing it.

Midlands and the north boast the most attractive cities for female entrepreneurs

London has long been known as the small business capital of the UK, so it’s unsurprising that it appeals to every budding small business owner, regardless of gender. With it’s infrastructure, support networks and a population always willing to try the latest thing, London tops the list for the highest number of female-run businesses.

However, after London, the south has few cities in the top 10 destinations for female entrepreneurs. Bristol and Exeter make the list, at fifth and ninth place respectively, but it’s as you look north that you’ll find the cities that appeal most to women looking to set up their own businesses.

After London, Leicester and Birmingham boast the highest number of female business owners and tradespeople. Further north, Liverpool also makes it into the top five, with Manchester and Sheffield in seventh and 10th place. Two Scottish cities also make the list – Edinburgh at number six and Glasgow at eight.

Top 10 cities by number of female business owners and tradespeople

  1. London
  2. Birmingham
  3. Leicester
  4. Liverpool
  5. Bristol
  6. Edinburgh
  7. Manchester
  8. Glasgow
  9. Exeter
  10. Sheffield

Accountancy fastest growing profession among women

For women looking to start up their own business, accountancy appears to rapidly be becoming the trade of choice. According to our data, there are now 16 times the number of female accountants in the UK than there were in 2014.

The types of trade or profession that appeal to women are varied, with IT specialisms, cafe ownership and beauty-based trades also having grown rapidly over the past four years.

While professions that are often viewed as traditionally female – such as hairdressing and teaching – account for some of the most commonly owned businesses by women in 2018, our data shows a varied spread, including business and management consultancy, market trading, and IT.

Celebrating female entrepreneurs, business owners and tradespeople

Fiona McSwein, our Chief Customer Officer, was excited to acknowledge and celebrate female entrepreneurs around the country, particularly on the 100th year since women first got the vote. “Their hard work, expertise and commitment contributes significantly to the UK economy, and it is important that they are supported and encouraged as they grow their businesses.

“Our data shows the fantastic variety of career paths female entrepreneurs have chosen – from accountants and IT contractors to beauticians and market traders. At Simply Business we are so proud to insure the success of female-run businesses up and down the country.”

Are you a female business owner, or looking to start up? Where would you base your business? Let us know in the comments.

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