‘We know it’s not a level playing field’
Facebook’s #shemeansbusiness campaign proves that sisterhood is alive and well
‘U.K. men are twice as likely as women to become a founder,’ explains Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA, Facebook.
Sadly, that’s just a fact of how underrepresented women still are in business. But we’re moving in the right direction, with individuals, brands and companies fighting to make global change.
One of these is Facebook, whose #shemeansbusiness programme supports female entrepreneurs in the UK by providing the tools, training and practical advice needed to make their dreams a reality.
According to new research by the programme, the ‘connect effect’ is real, with female business leaders proven to be nearly twice as likely to forecast business growth if they are part of a business community.
That’s right. The sisterhood is alive and well.
Despite the facts, and the awareness around them, it also emerged that a whopping 50 per cent of female business leaders are not part of such a network.
Why? They don’t know how or where to find one, with the current business networking environment better set up for male business leaders.
This however is all about to change – and about time, too.
Having identified the connect effect, Facebook has welcomed AllBright – a community driving smart-thinking women to thrive through Members’ Clubs, an Academy and Live Events – into the #SheMeansBusiness partner network alongside Enterprise Nation and The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
And it’s good news for everyone.
As part of the partnership, AllBright is launching a new free 10-week online learning programme – The AllBright Academy – to support women to supercharge their careers or businesses.
What will the course include?
The course – offered to thousands of women across the country – aims to inspire creativity, empower confidence and improve digital skills – with the course content coming from some very impressive faces. Everyone from Cath Kidston MBE and Karen Blackett OBE (Chairwoman, MediaCom) to Thomasina Miers (Founder of Wahaca).
‘When it comes to scaling up businesses, the UK only ranks 13th in the world,’ explained Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA, Facebook. ‘And according to The Entrepreneurs Network, just nine per cent of funding into UK start-ups currently goes to women-run businesses annually.’
She continued: ‘Growing a business is tough, but it’s particularly tough for female business leaders. Being part of a business community, and having ongoing support to make progress on self-development, can make all the difference.’
‘Networks matter,’ agreed Debbie Wosskow OBE, Co-Founder, AllBright. ‘Having groups of peers that can be called upon to collaborate and learn from when you’re facing a business challenge can help enormously.’
So if you want your business to thrive, surround yourself with some fierce females.