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Female and Social Entrepreneurship

Women are less than half as likely to set up a business as men. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) UK reports for 2001, 2002 and 2003 have reported a persistent gap between male and female entrepreneurship, which, despite policy efforts to close it, remains one of the widest in the world.

Yet the same GEM data suggests that the picture is more positive than it may at first appear. Women are less likely than men to set up a business, but are more likely to set up businesses in areas where the product or process is new to some or all customers, and, once they become established, are more likely to create jobs. Even more interesting, although women's perceptions of their own capacity to set up a business are low, women are nevertheless as likely as men to see being an entrepreneur as a good career choice and a high status activity.

It is hoped that the analysis in this document and the presentations will provide an evidence base, useful not only for policy makers at all levels of government, but also for enterprise practitioners in university departments, for industry, trade associations, Learning and Skills councils and business support providers alike, all working towards the same goal - to increase the numbers of women starting and growing their own businesses in this country. At the same time, it is hoped that the compelling stories of the entrepreneurs featured in the seminar will provide inspiration for future women business owners.

Speakers include:
  • Colette Henry - Head of Department of Business Studies, Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, Dundalk Institute of Technology
  • Izzy Warren-Smith, Director, Women in Rural Enterprise (WIRE)
  • Sally Arkley, Director, Women's Business Development Agency (WBDA)
  • Kay Sanderson, Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Warwick
  • Rebecca Harding, London Business School, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)

Further Information

MIE and UKSEC members are entitled to a ?10 reduction for the event. To book your place please call Jan or Laura on 02476 574002 or email
For more information see