Female self-employment skyrockets within online retail sector » SMEInsider

Female self-employment skyrockets within online retail sector

Research conducted by Development Economics and eBay has uncovered the large divide that currently exists between male and female entrepreneurs.

Between 2009 and 2014, the number of women who’ve started their own retail business has increased by an impressive 28 per cent.

There was only a 10 per cent rise within the same period for men, a statistic that Tanya Lawler thinks is smashing the so called ‘glass ceiling’ within UK boardrooms.

‘‘We’re seeing more and more women set up successful enterprises, and for all the talk of a glass ceiling, Britain is actually a nation of self-made women,’’ commented Tanya Lawler, eBay UK CEO.

The UK seems to be a place where female entrepreneurs can really succeed. The same cannot be said for other European countries, as in the same period, the number of self-employed women in France grew by just 17 per cent and Italy by 5 per cent. In Germany the number has fallen by 2 per cent.

‘‘For women with the additional pressures of childcare or flexi-working requirements, online retail is a land of opportunity where any glass ceiling is already well and truly smashed,’’ continued Lawler.

Platforms like eBay have really helped female entrepreneurs across the UK, including Mary Anne Constance, founder of Pewtermoonsilver, an SME which sells stained-glass designs.

‘‘When I found myself in an average office job, I had a burning ambition to break free and earn a living doing something I loved: designing and making stained glass. The day I found eBay changed everything.’’

‘‘Suddenly there was a way of selling small quantities of hand crafted goods, at my own speed, without having to invest in large amounts of stock and marketing. My business became a one-woman cottage industry, as I could do everything from home, making stained glass on the dining room table and sending it from the Post Office at the end of the road.’’

‘‘Now, over ten years later the hobby has grown from part-time job to a full-time job. eBay is still an important part of my business, allowing me to showcase my stained glass suncatchers and panels, and reach like-minded customers all over the world.’’