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Saira Khan on entrepeneurship

27th February 2020
Posted by Aston Avery

Despite increased discussion around gender equality in business, new research released today shows 63% of girls aged 11-18 have never thought about starting their own business with the main reason being they don’t know anything about where to begin (43%).

The research commissioned by Santander highlights the knock-on effect the lack of visible female role models is having on the next generation, as a staggering 81 per cent of 11-18-year olds are unable to name a single female entrepreneur. In addition, children today are nearly four times as likely to think of a man than a woman when they hear the word ‘entrepreneur’ (37 per cent vs. 10 per cent).

It has also been found that parents across the UK play a part in perpetuating an entrepreneurship gender divide as the research shows that more boys than girls say their parents have encouraged them to start a business with over a quarter (27 per cent) of parents believing entrepreneurship is male-dominated as men are ‘more business minded’. The research also suggests that over two fifths (42 per cent) of boys have been encouraged by their parents to become an entrepreneur whereas only 35 per cent of girls have had the same encouragement. This also follows through to schools where just 20 per cent of girls saying they have been encouraged to become an entrepreneur in class compared 24 per cent of boys.

Aston spoke to Saira Khan, entrepeneur, TV presenter and Loose Women panellist and Louise Robinson, head of breakthrough at Satander to discuss the research in further detail.