Women business owners could be making greater sacrifices than their male counterparts this year as they adapt to challenges from Covid-19, research from small business lender Iwoca has found.
In the coming year 60 per cent of female small business owners do not expect to take time off work, compared to 47 per cent of men not expecting to.
Almost half (48 per cent) of business owners said they had been working without a salary, but female business owners were more likely to do so.
The research found 50 per cent of women business owners had not taken a salary since the beginning of the lockdown, compared with 47 per cent of their male counterparts.
Looking ahead, female business owners were more likely not to take a salary over the next 12 months, with 42 per cent saying they expected to go without wages as opposed to 38 per cent of men.
Iwoca found that women were less likely than men to report having returned to pre-Covid-19 activity – 14 per cent of female business owners said their firm was operating at normal levels, compared with 21 per cent of men.
Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of women-owned businesses are still closed following the lockdown, compared with just 14 per cent of male-owned businesses.
“The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way business owners operate and many will be making sacrifices they have never had to consider before,” said Seema Desai, chief operating officer of Iwoca.
“It is clear that the past few months have been extremely challenging for all businesses.
“Women-owned businesses make a huge contribution to the economy, so it is incumbent on everyone working within the small business community to ensure we’re doing enough to support them.”