Budding female entrepreneurs need not worry about business damping on your family time because running your own company improves family life, a study of UK female micro business owners has revealed.
The Women-owned Micro Businesses Trend report by Vistaprint, the printing services company, found that the biggest motive for women choosing to start their own business is the freedom it offers.
Taking the entrepreneurial route, according to the respondents, meant that they could decide how and when to fit work in around other life commitments.
And 72 per cent of female UK entrepreneurs believe running their own business has had a positive impact on their family life.
Vistaprint conducted a survey of 1,200 professionals in the UK and US, in addition to interviews, to explore the attitudes and challenges of female entrepreneurs in both countries.
The findings indicated that the biggest challenge female business owners face is achieving the right work-life balance, as identified by 62 per cent of respondents.
The other significant challenges were limited access to funding (50 per cent) and gender discrimination (35 per cent).
“Juggling work, family and life is a major challenge and sometimes we try to have it all. But it’s important not to feel guilty if everything isn’t perfect,” said Colleen Wong, owner of Techsixtyfour, who resigned from a job in finance to start a family.
“My kids watch TV when I need to make important calls and my partner is on his own most evenings as I need to work. I used to feel guilty about all these things and more but I don’t anymore. As long as you try your best that’s all anyone can do.”
Importantly, the report refuted perceptions that childcare responsibilities can interfere with managing a successful business, as the results suggested that women with larger families had a more positive outlook for the future of their company.
Around 64 per cent business women with three or more children said they were expecting to see business growth over the next five years.
According to the report the reason for this was the desire to succeed, combined with setting a good example for their children about hard work.
Trynka Shineman, president of Vistaprint said: “It’s inspiring to see the vast majority of female business owners feel that their home life and personal satisfaction has benefitted from running their own business.
“They have more control over their schedules and get more choice over the work they actually want to do. At Vistaprint we have the opportunity to work with millions of business owners around the world.
“We find that what many of them have in common is how much they are driven by this freedom, along with the enjoyment of pursuing their passion, over dreams of huge financial success.”