Bristol has been named the best city for female entrepreneurs in the country!
Some 39 per cent of women business leaders reported growth for their enterprises in the past 12 months – more than anywhere else in the UK – according to the report by Yorkshire Bank’s holding company CYBG.
Bristol was followed closely by Sheffield, which reported growth of 38 per cent in the last year, and Manchester at 35 per cent.
Female entrepreneurs in Bristol are also optimistic about the future, with 35 per cent planning to grow their companies in the next year.
However, business women in Leeds are the most optimistic of all, with 43 per cent expecting growth in 2019.
In Bristol, 70 per cent of entrepreneurs also said they would recommend the city to other business owners.
Recommendations were based on factors including the overall sense of business community, availability of partners and suppliers, and the talent pool.
Overall, however, female entrepreneurs are still more cautious about growth predictions than their male counterparts.
Nationally, some 34 per cent of women said their businesses would grow compared to 42 per cent of men.
The research hints that one of the reasons for the growth gap could be unequal access to funding. Only 24 per cent of women report they find it easy to access finance, compared to 32 per cent of men.
Samantha Bedford, head of new ways of working at CYBG plc, said: “The business community is incredibly strong and supportive [but] there are still disparities between male and female entrepreneurs on a national level.
“Our research has shown that a larger proportion of females are finding it difficult to receive the funding they need and that’s an area we can work on, to try and close the growth gap and support the wider ambitions they have for their businesses.”
There were two cities that bucked this trend, however. In Birmingham, 28 per cent of women were optimistic about growth levels compared to 25 per cent of men, while in Leeds it was 43 per cent versus 42 per cent.
Best UK cities for female entrepreneurs
4. = Edinburgh
4. = Glasgow
5. = Liverpool
5. = Birmingham