Ulster Bank survey finds female entrepreneurs increasingly refer business to other women-led business.
25 September 2014 – A new survey has found that 76% of Irish female entrepreneurs would be more willing to refer business to other female-led businesses. The survey, conducted by Ulster Bank as part of its Business Women Can network, also found that 61% of respondents would be willing to mentor other female business owners. The findings are based on 250 respondents, two thirds of these were owners or CEOs and 18% were in senior managerial roles.
“There is a great sense of support by women for women when it comes to starting and growing a business”, said Fiona Kingston, Business Women Can Project Director at Ulster Bank. “We all know that women in business face some barriers to success whether that is a lack of confidence in our own abilities, a fear of failure or prioritising family but it’s encouraging that there is acknowledgement of working together being a key factor to drive success.”
Networking was also highlighted as a valuable business skill with 67% of respondents stating that they were members of at least one business network and 84% would strongly encourage other female business leaders to be part of a formal business network.
“We know from meeting business women at our events that networking is important to them. Women naturally support each other in their personal and professional lives. Business Women Can aims to harness that support in a tangible way,” continued Kingston.
A third (33%) of female entrepreneurs use their network to generate new business with 53% indicating that they have successfully secured business in this way. There is also a high level of social media usage amongst female entrepreneurs, reflecting general trends in social media usage across Ireland with;
- 75% of respondents using Facebook to promote their business
- 71% of respondents using LinkedIn for business engagement
- 65% of respondents active on Twitter
Meanwhile, 63% of respondents feel there are specific barriers female professionals have to overcome. 39% of respondents mentioned childcare or work life balance. 16% felt that women in business were not taken seriously either within their own company or customers / suppliers did not see them as decision makers. 12% felt that women’s own lack of confidence or self belief held them back and a further 12% felt that a male dominated environment or an ‘old boys network’ was a barrier.