The plight of the female founder

When I mentioned the title of this piece to a male counterpart, he thought my word ‘misery’ was a bit funny! But, on reflection it is rather appropriate, and I can certainly confirm for it.

Being a business woman can sometimes be dangerous (I once worked in the city😉); Very difficult and when you look at the information below, we find ourselves in a rather unfortunate situation in 2022.

History has blessed strong women business leaders; Madame Clickcoat took the reins of the View Clickcoat in 1805; My own grandmother Edith Bailes was an equal business partner with her husband; Dr. Prena Jones, who shows up in our ‘Queens of Biz’ video, talks about her mother, one of the first women to be admitted to medical school. These women were exceptions to the norm for their generation, true pioneers.

Yes, we have come a long way since the time of our forefathers, but we cannot rest on our laurels when there is so much more to go. Globally, women occupy about 31% of the top positions, a new high, but only 14 (3%) of the Fortune 500 companies and 8 (8%) of the FTSE 100 companies have a female CEO. Government and industry have stubbornly failed to realize the benefits of a more gender-equal economy, citing a potential period of more than a hundred years to achieve this goal – of course, we can all do better than that. Equality is not a women’s issue, it is a business issue.

A report by the Global Institute at McKinsey found that 20 12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by ‘simply’ advancing women’s equality.

Regardless of gender, all businesses require funding. And it is unfortunate that we find ourselves in a situation in 2022 where there is a very clear financing gap between male established and female established businesses.

The scarcity of venture capital that goes into women-owned businesses is pretty dire and it has to turn around. As of 2017, demographically, female founders have collected only 1.3% of all VC funds in Europe.

Reports show that women in the UK start with an average of 53% less capital than men and 40% of women entrepreneurs do not want a scale-up loan in the hope of rejection; So fewer women-led businesses are scaling up and reaching their potential.

Male entrepreneurs in the UK are 86% more likely to receive VC funding, which is surprising when you consider that it has been shown that women show higher returns. This situation is clearly not based on mathematics! Women’s abilities and track records are recognized; There are enough reports out there, yet we still don’t treat our male colleagues equally.

Women are filled with unconscious prejudices and stereotypes in education and society from an early age, so it is easy to blame the female mentality. How many times have I heard the excuse that ‘women don’t ask’ is what we actually do, it’s something we don’t always hear.

Yet in spite of all this, there are strong women entrepreneurs, doing business every day. In the midst of so many obstacles, what drives them away, what wakes them up in the morning. This is what interests me.

It is a proven fact that role models are important for inspiring and giving us the confidence to jump that entrepreneur. Of course, there is no shortage of constantly promoted male business leaders – Bezos, Buffett, Gates and Mask to name a few, but what about their female opponents? There are those women business leaders – Sarah Blakely, who don’t have a pair of Spanx; Dennis Coates, Bet365; Ariana Huffington, Thrive Global; Charlotte Tilbury, Charlotte Tilbury Beauty; And one of my personal role models is Helen Swabi, CEO and founder of De Montfort Fine Art Group, a UK leader.

A recent survey found that 48 percent of women entrepreneurs cited a lack of mentors and advisors as a barrier to professional growth. A role model doesn’t have to be a global name, they just have to do what they say on the tin!

Only by sharing can we help and inspire those who stand by us today and who will follow us tomorrow. It is our job to empower each other by sharing knowledge and mentality.

I took some time to sit down with some of my fellow female founders to find out among other things that inspired them; Quickly immerse it in their minds. I captured it in a short video that I hope you enjoy while we celebrate International Women’s Day. And perhaps one of these fabulous women could be your role model and encourage you to take that leap or continue on your entrepreneurial path.

I would like to thank the House of St. Barnabas in Soho for allowing us to use their beautiful building for photography. HOSB One of the Soho-based charities that we, at King of Soho, actively support; Led by CEO Rosie Ferguson, its work, and in particular its Employment Academy, helps break the cycle of homelessness that unfortunately many face.


Alex Robson

Alex Robson is the co-founder of West End Drinks Ltd., and the owner of the brand and co-creator of Soho Jin King.


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