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International Women’s Day: new data shows small business owners stepping out of traditional gender roles

2-minute read

International Women’s Day: new data shows small business owners stepping out of traditional gender roles
Anna Delves

Anna Delves

5 March 2019

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day – #BalanceforBetter – appears to be reflected in the trends among small business owners.

Traditionally male jobs are becoming less popular among men, and more popular among women, and the same is true the other way around.

On top of that, the businesses seeing the most growth are the same, no matter the gender of their owner.

Craft and food stalls appeal to both men and women

New data uncovered by Simply Business has shown that craft and food stalls are the fastest growing trade among both men and women.

According to the figures, 1,598 women and 165 men opened craft stalls, while 228 men and 280 women opened food stalls over the course of 2018.

Among women, other popular trades included dog walker, beautician, and animal breeder, while among men it leant towards complaints handler, inventory clerk, and event organiser.

Fastest growing businesses among men and women

Food stallCraft stall
Craft stallFood stall
Complaints handlingDog walker
Inventory clerkBeautician
Event organiserAnimal breeder
Healthcare assistantNanny
Fire proofing consultantComplementary therapist
Animal breederFace painting
Dog walkerComplaints handling
BarberRecruitment consultant

Traditionally male and female businesses on the decline

Currently, the most popular trade among men is builder, and among women it's cleaner – jobs often associated with those genders.

However, over the past year, we saw a 15 per cent decline in male builders, and an eight per cent decline in female cleaners.

A spike in fortune tellers and fishing tackle shop owners

When looking at percentage increase, some odd trends emerge. There’s been a huge increase in male fortune tellers and in female fishing tackle shop owners, 600 and 500 per cent respectively.

But don’t worry, the UK isn’t about to be overrun with bait and tarot cards – while the percentages look high, the numbers are very small.

What types of businesses are non-binary people opening?

Last year, Simply Business added the option for people to select the gender neutral ‘mx’ as their title.

Since then, people who use this title have appeared across a range of trades, including plastering, business and management consulting, and – just as with men and women – owning a craft stall.

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We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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