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, according to business insurer Hiscox.
Its research 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.”
Nearly half of respondents (46%) cite flexible working hours as a key benefit of setting up their own business, 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.
Kemble said: “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.”