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Creating Positive Footprints....

Ambassadors' Drinks on St George's Day

The latest Pink Shoe Ambassadors' Drinks were held on St George's Day at our favourite Westminster haunt.
We were delighted to welcome many longstanding ambassadors along with some more recent members, also that more and more gentlemen are joining Pink Shoe events - what we'll refer to as the 'Pink Shirt' club.

In honour of this English celebration we rebranded the usual 'Aperitivo' and enjoyed a selection of English nibbles rather than tapas.

Shattering Stereotypes: Women in Entrepreneurship

Pink Shoe ambassadors were invited to join the Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE) at the launch of their new report on female entrepreneurship 'Shattering Sterotypes'. This was a well attended and highly successful event. The report itself highlighted some surprising results and identified areas upon which future activities for female enterpreneurs could be focused.

Below is a report of the event and a brief analysis of the research from Afua Akoto, our new and highly talented pink protégée. Thank you Afua. Thanks also to the CFE for including us in such a stimulating event.

A report on 'Shattering Stereotypes, Women in Entrepreneurship'
by Afua Akoto

Several enthusiasts and supporters of female entrepreneurs graced the discussion on the theme, 'Shattering Stereotypes, Women in Entrepreneurship'. The conference which was based on research findings on the dynamics of women in business was held at the Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE), a think tank located in the heart of the city.

The global business landscape is growing rapidly and as such female business owners (as do their male counterparts) require the necessary support to ensure success in their fields of endeavor. Hence, the Centre for Entrepreneurs in conjunction with Barclays, conducted thorough research by speaking to over 500 C-suite female executives and entrepreneurs across Britain on the underpinning issues in starting business.

Some of the common characteristics found amongst the respondents who were interviewed were risk-loving and over-confident attitudes (I know what you might be thinking; women have always been bossy…and will continue to be bossy). Well this may have an aorta of truth however, so long as this trait is used in building massive organizations then it’s a plus…no?

One of the most shocking revelations was that female entrepreneurs are more likely to take out large sums of money out of their total revenue/sales, more than their male contemporaries.

Another interesting finding was that most women business owners preferred to be addressed as ‘founder’, ‘president’, or ‘mom-preneur’ because they viewed the term ‘entrepreneur’ as “bloke-y”. Hmm…that’s surely something to ponder about. Are top-level female moguls shooting themselves in the foot by going against the global debate on equality? Think about it this way, if the latter would like to be treated just as fairly as their male counterparts, then why opt for titles which may reflect weakness and the unwillingness to compete heads-on?

This notwithstanding, about 70% of the C-suite female leaders were reported to possess the drive to start businesses. In addition, the poll also revealed an annual turnover of over £2 million for the businesses surveyed.

It was also revealed that women left the corporate sector to set up companies after gaining enough experience and a financial buffer.

The underlying barriers to growth that were mentioned by the respondents included inadequate knowledge of new markets, lack of strong networks and family commitments. For instance, it was common to find that a highly competent woman capable of starting a multi-national firm would sacrifice her dreams to support her entrepreneur husband, rather than ‘jeopardize’ the financial stability of the home by starting her own.

Despite the bottlenecks for female entrepreneurship however, some recommendations were outlined to accelerate the growth of businesses. These include increasing gender-balanced networking events and the encouragement of growing business leaders in sharing their success stories, as a form of motivation for upcoming entrepreneurs.

The report on the subject matter was authored by Sarah Fink from CFE, research design and analysis conducted by Emily Haisley (Barclays and Quantitative Finance), initiative led by Jagdeep Rai (Barclays Corporate Bank) and Matt Smith (CFE).