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The rise of the ‘everyday entrepreneur’

New report on female business start-ups reveals home-based enterprise is boosting the UK economy

A new report authored by Cass Business School Professor of Entrepreneurship, Julie Logan, has found over two thirds (68 percent) of female business start-ups are so-called 'everyday entrepreneurs'.

The research by Ipsos Mori was conducted with 1,000 self-employed women and female business-owners for Avon UK. Named The Avon 'Everyday Entrepreneur Report' it shows these women are breaking the Richard Branson mould and hadn't planned to be self-employed business owners.

Enterprising women are supporting the UK economy by running thriving enterprises, often from home, and appear to be motivated by flexibility and a passion more than the idea of money and power. Most do not even connect with the word 'entrepreneur'.

Professor Logan said: "Contrary to the popular view, our findings show that when it comes to female entrepreneurs, they are not powered by ego but by the promise of flexibility, fulfilment and fun. The report explores how young women are more likely to embrace entrepreneurship as a career option and embark on this career trajectory from the outset. As these young women create ventures that grow and employ people this will have a very positive impact on the UK economy."

The Avon 'Everyday Entrepreneur' Report was given its name by Professor Logan because it has uncovered a new breed of business innovator which reveals that female entrepreneurs are opting to run their enterprises from home and often require little investment to get up and running.

33 percent of respondents, cited flexibility as the main reason for starting their own venture, with home-working enabling the 'everyday entrepreneurs' to fit their career around family or other commitments and keep overheads down and 59 percent stating flexibility was the most enjoyable part of running their own business.

Almost half, 45 percent of the women questioned said they were the chief income earner in their household. Four in ten respondents required no investment to get their enterprise up and running, suggesting that women are looking for self-employment options that insulate their family against financial instability and have low barriers to entry.

It also found young women aged 18-34 are more likely to consider themselves entrepreneurs and embrace this as a career trajectory from the outset but they are driven by the idea of fulfilling a dream or passion with 39% of women who named this as their motivation under 35 years old.

Angela Tucker, Avon UK Sales Director said: "The Avon 'Everyday Entrepreneur' Report demonstrates that self-employed women are contributing in multiple ways - to society, their families and, crucially, to the UK economy, with 84 percent of respondents expecting their business to grow or at least stay the same size over the next three years."

Professor Julie Logan says her report shows that the popular view of entrepreneurship - as viewed through programmes like Dragon's Den, is seen as focused on making money and is synonymous with "men making money". Today's female business leaders want to see more everyday role models in the public eye and for the industry terminology to change to better reflect how businesses are run now.

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