Posted by: ginalazenby | November 18, 2009

Global Women’s Enterprise Day

Today (November 18th) is Global Women’s Enterprise Day – an intiative started in the UK as part of Global Enterprise Week – which seeks to celebrate the achievements of female entrepreneurs.  (see my blogs for last year).  Women in the USA are twice as likely to be entrepreneurially active as women in the UK (State of Women’s Enterprise in the UK, Dr Rebecca Harding, Nov 2007) where they make up just 15% of the 4.7 million UK enterprises, (BERR, 2009).   There is work to be done here but more and more women are starting their own ventures.

When women do start up in business they will tend to provide a more immediate contribution to the economy: around one in five women come into self-employment from unemployment compared with around one in fifteen men ( Annual Small Business Survey 2003, SBS)

And women are starting to have an effect at the highest levels of companies: when women represent 30% of the Board of Directors the profitability of a company increases threefold (Women Executives in the UK, Gavurin Intellience, Feb 2008)

At the current rate of progress it will be a further 60 years before women in the UK achieve parity on company boards (Commission for Equality and Human Right). It’s time to speed things up – take a leaf out of Norway’s book where they legislated in 2003 for all company boards to have 40% women (they have now achieved 44%).

PS see  The Rise of Women in Business in my friend Clive Digby Jones’  blog on Retraining America Now.  His business helps organisations re-invent themselves and he says he is looking for more women partners and affiliates.

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