Wales’ biggest business organisation has called for Welsh Government to urgently review the impact of the pandemic on female entrepreneurs before it is too late.
On International Women’s Day, FSB Wales has written to Ken Skates MS, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales and asked that Welsh Government urgently review the impact of the pandemic on female entrepreneurs, and build any findings from this into future government support for businesses.
The role of female-led businesses in Wales is a significant one. Previous FSB research has found that these businesses contribute £4.1 billion to Wales’ economy and create 13.6% of private sector employment in Wales. These are businesses that drive innovation, productivity and investment in our communities across the country. However, recent ONS data suggests that more women were nervous about businesses closure during the pandemic that men.
Business owners have faced myriad hurdles and challenges over the past year as restrictions put in place to curb the rise or Coronavirus have threatened the viability of thousands of businesses across Wales.
FSB Wales urged the minister to urgently review the ways in which the pandemic has affected female entrepreneurs, and how future business support and the institutions that provide it can be empowered to support female entrepreneurs, either to start a business or maintain one through this difficult time.
Anna Burke, FSB Wales Policy member and Co-founder of Animated Technologies, said:
“Welsh Government urgently needs to understand what women in Wales are experiencing.
“Balancing childcare, home schooling and running a young business has been incredibly challenging. The way that my business and family have had to adapt over the last year is beyond anything that I could have previously imagined.
“I’m proud of how we have come through the pandemic and all that we have been able to achieve against this incredibly difficult backdrop, but women in business across Wales have faced some of the most significant barriers over the last year and its absolutely right that we urgently seek to understand what women have dealt with, what they feel the issues will be for them in the coming months and what support they need in order to face this.”
Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair, said:
“It is our concern that irreversible damage could be done the Wales’ community of female-led businesses without urgent action by Welsh Government.
“Long before the pandemic started evidence showed that far fewer women were entering self-employment than men in every area of Wales. This means that we were already missing out on the talent and entrepreneurial skill that is such an important contribution to Wales’ economy and our communities. We hope that Welsh Government will heed our call to take stock of what female entrepreneurs are facing as a result of the pandemic and how they can be supported.”