New research by Sage has unveiled the North East of England as the leading hub for female entrepreneurs, setting a prime example in fostering women-led startups.

Sage’s comprehensive study has shown regional comparisons in the support and readiness experienced by female entrepreneurs across the country. Interestingly, a remarkable 81% of female entrepreneurs in the North East have reported feeling supported as they embarked on their entrepreneurial journeys. Furthermore, an impressive 69% of them have underscored their adeptness in managing the balance between their professional and personal commitments through work life balance.

In contrast, the national averages indicate that 66% of women throughout the country felt supported during their startup ventures, with only 61% feeling proficient in maintaining a harmonious work-life balance as entrepreneurs, showing how the North East rises above the national average in this regard. The North East also garnered strong scores in other areas of the overall ranking, notably in the affordability of office space and the narrower gender pay gap.

When it comes to the motivations behind starting a business for regions across England, the study found that women were more inclined to initiate their entrepreneurial journey seeking flexibility and improved work-life balance, with 51% of female entrepreneurs citing these as primary reasons. On the other hand, the top reason for men entering the business world was the pursuit of financial opportunities, as indicated by 48% of male entrepreneurs.

While a majority of both male and female business owners expressed a sense of readiness when launching their startups in terms of skills and knowledge, a notable portion still said they felt unprepared. Around 27% of women and 23% of men admitted to not feeling completely ready for the challenges they encountered, and 97% of all entrepreneurs acknowledged the need to continually develop and enhance various skills to effectively run their businesses.

The research highlighted key areas where women entrepreneurs encountered more challenges compared to their male counterparts. Struggles encompassed profitability (77%), work-life balance (72%), environmental sustainability (65%), cost minimization (71%), financial management (74%), tax understanding (75%), and technology adoption (69%).

In terms of confidence for future success, women entrepreneurs demonstrated remarkable self-assurance in several key areas compared to men. The survey indicated that women were more optimistic about achieving the following within the next 12 months:

  • Increasing profitability (68% vs. 67%)
  • Expanding brand awareness (67% vs. 64%)
  • Enhancing customer satisfaction (74% vs. 72%)
  • Boosting sales (66% vs. 61%)
  • Pursuing environmental sustainability (61% vs. 53%)

Another significant finding was that a higher percentage of women (12%) reported not accessing any funding resources or options during their startup phase, in contrast to 6% of men. Moreover, the study revealed that women often felt a lack of support from various quarters, including financial assistance, governmental and local council support, trade organisations, and industry networks.

You can read more about the study from Sage here:

If you have entrepreneurial spirit that’s ready to burst free, TEDCO Business Support is here to help. Give us a call on 0191 516 61 02 or drop us an email at

Pictured above is Andrea Holman of Worker Bee – read her story here…

What we offer

TEDCO offers one-on-one support provided by a dedicated team of business advisors and a range of pre start seminars available to clients who are taking the first steps into self-employment. This could be looking at an initial idea and developing it further, looking at how to start a business plan, business competitors, business marketing.

Are you eligible?

If you are looking to start and grow a business we’d love to hear from you. Our friendly team of experienced Business Advisors are on hand to take your call to discuss the support available.

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