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Peer2Peer Finance News | August 19, 2017

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Female entrepreneurs more cagey about post-Brexit prospects

Female entrepreneurs more cagey about post-Brexit prospects
Marc Shoffman

IT IS often said that men are from Mars and women are from Venus when it comes to relationships, but the same may apply to finance, according to RateSetter.

A poll by the peer-to-peer lender shows that less than half as many female business owners are confident about the success of their businesses post-Brexit, compared to their male counterparts.

The research, conducted by RateSetter Business Finance, has revealed that only 10 per cent of women business leaders believe that leaving the EU will be positive for their business.

This contrasts with 21 per cent of male business owners who have an optimistic outlook about their ventures after Brexit.

Read more: Brexit abates UK investor risk appetite

Read more: Investment firms call for clarity in case of a ‘hard Brexit

The research also found that businesswomen are almost twice as likely to look for a strong relationship with their finance provider compared to their male equivalents, albeit among a low number.

Just 10.34 per cent of female entrepreneurs valued a strong relationship with their provider, compared with 6.56 per cent of males.

Additionally, 32.7 per cent of female business owners want to find a lender that understands their business and business model, compared with just 19 per cent of men.

Paul Marston, managing director of RateSetter’s commercial finance division, said the overall picture is that small business leaders are not at all optimistic about the impact of Brexit.

“We were rather surprised to find such a difference between the views of male and female business people,” he said.

“The drastic reduction of over 1,000 branches across the UK inevitably means that it’s become more difficult for banks to form a strong relationship with business customers and to get to know their businesses.

“Some may think it ironic that an online lender like RateSetter builds stronger relationships with businesses, but that is exactly what we are doing.

“We are in the process of building a national network of regional managers precisely so that we can meet our customers, pay visits to their premises and listen to their stories. We believe that by looking behind the numbers at the people running those businesses we make better credit decisions.”

Read more: RateSetter’s Rhydian Lewis awarded OBE