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Female business owners encouraged to take part in new research

Posted on 31 July 2023

Female business owners and entrepreneurs are being urged to take part in a research project which will examine their impact on the regional and national economy.

L- R: Sam Gardner, Director Enterprise Works; Andrea Morrison, entrepreneur from Andrea Morrison Coaching; Carolyn Frank, Federation of Small Businesses; Sue Jefferson from the Local Enterprise Partnership board ( LEP); Professor Kiran Trehan.

The research, a collaboration between the University of York and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), will look at some of the barriers preventing female entrepreneurs from succeeding. 

Findings from the project will be used to help shape the creation of supportive regional policy. 

Business journey

The research seeks the views from all types of women in business from the York and North Yorkshire region, whether they are self-employed, freelancers, small businesses to larger businesses, female owned or female led and at any stage of their business journey. 

The project was launched at an event at the Grand Hotel, York, with more than 100 small businesses already on board.

The research will be led by Professor Kiran Trehan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagement at the University of York and a key contributor to national debates on leadership, enterprise development and diversity in small firms and business.

In 2019 Professor Trehan was elected to be the President of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) - the leading national body for SME research and policy learning. 

Enormous value

Prof Trehan, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University, said: “We have reached a tipping point, where governments, business support organisations and female entrepreneurs themselves realise the enormous value of female enterprise to the regional and national economy.

“It is vital for the future success of the region that we have a clear, data-driven understanding of the needs of this community, to ensure that we maximise our, and their, chances of success and drive Inclusive growth for all.” 

As part of the research project a  range of activities, including workshops, masterclasses, discussions and roundtables are planned from September to engage, understand and define this research. 

Understand and support

Andrea Morrison, who runs Andrea Morrison Coaching and is the FSB’s volunteer area lead for York and North Yorkshire said:  “As a woman who owns her own business, I am really excited that the barriers to women’s success are being actively researched locally in order to better understand and support all women in enterprise, and urge all women in business in our region to get involved and have their voice heard.

“We want this research to be a major step forward for women in enterprise in the region and for York & North Yorkshire to be the best place for the next generation of female small business owners to start and grow their businesses and achieve their ambitions.” 

Cllr. Claire Douglas, Leader of City of York Council said: “As a former business owner and entrepreneur, it was fantastic to see so many women join the event and commit to participating in this important piece of research to investigate how to take female entrepreneurialism in York and North Yorkshire to the next level. This is hugely optimistic for enterprise in our city.

“I very much look forward to working with the FSB and the University of York to support the research and suggested actions for making York an even better place for women to create businesses."


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