London, UK (19th September 2011): A significant percentage of female entrepreneurs (44%) believe their business talents cannot be learnt as they possess an inherent skill set innate to their gender.
In research undertaken by specialist small business insurer Hiscox, the results found that 82% of female entrepreneurs questioned did not study business or management topics at school believing that their business talent was an innate skill, with a just under a fifth of female entrepreneurs questioned (18%) having not obtained higher qualifications after leaving school.
“Innate” attributes that women say are crucial for the makeup of an entrepreneur included creativity (75%,) and being a good networker and communicator (65%) versus traits more traditionally associated with start-ups such as risk-taking (28%).
Suzanne Kemble, Head of Media & Entertainment at Hiscox, commented: “The recession led to a surge of enterprise and our research has found that female entrepreneurs continue to rise to the challenge drawing on their natural talents to help them to succeed in business. However we also encourage start-ups to draw on experiences from previous roles. The insight gleaned from on-the-job experience in someone else’s company can be invaluable in avoiding mistakes or identifying opportunities when at the helm of their own business.”
The advantages for women of starting up their own business are considerable. Nearly half of respondents (46%) cite flexible working hours as a key benefit, while 57% enjoy the independence and being in control of their working careers and over half (51%) like being answerable only to themselves. Financial rewards were seen as one of the least important aspects, with just 9% saying that this was the benefit that they appreciated the most.
Suzanne continued: “These are challenging but exciting times for all entrepreneurs, male or female, but it’s interesting to see that for women, the satisfaction comes from the job rather than from simply financial reward. We know from Lord Davies’ review of women on boards that many senior women want the choice and ability to balance family life with work, and it’s clear from the female entrepreneurs surveyed here that flexibility is a key driving force to starting up their own business.”
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Notes to editors
* Research of 200 female entrepreneurs was carried out on behalf of Hiscox by RedShift between 7th - 21st January 2011.
Hiscox, the international specialist insurer, is headquartered in Bermuda and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:HSX). There are three main underwriting parts of the Group - Hiscox London Market, Hiscox UK and Europe and Hiscox International. Hiscox London Market underwrites internationally traded business in the London Market - generally large or complex business which needs to be shared with other insurers or needs the international licences of Lloyd's. Hiscox UK and Hiscox Europe offer a range of specialist insurance for professionals and business customers, as well as high net worth individuals. Hiscox International includes operations in Bermuda, Guernsey and USA. Hiscox Insurance Company Limited, Hiscox Underwriting Limited, Hiscox Europe Underwriting Limited and Hiscox Syndicates Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
For further information, visit www.hiscox.co.uk