Business management

The Rose Review 2023 outlines new initiatives to help more women to start and build thriving businesses

In 2022, more women in the UK founded more businesses than ever before, despite immense economic uncertainty.

The latest version of the Rose Review calls for even more support for female entrepreneurship in the UK.

More than twice as many female-led businesses were founded in 2022 than in 2018, just before the report was first published.

More women founding more businesses

Despite difficult economic headwinds the confidence of female founders continues to grow.

  • Over 150,000 new all-women led companies were founded in 2022 – more than ever before
  • A fifth of new incorporations (20.5%) last year were all-female led, a figure that has risen from 16% in 2018
  • The biggest leap was among 16- to 25-year-old female founders, which rose by almost a quarter (24.3%)

Rose Review partners aid growth

Across the UK, Rose Review partners provided more than 800,000 opportunities for female entrepreneurs to access the support needed to thrive.

Many other initiatives driven by the Rose Review and its partners have contributed to their growth.

  • The Investing in Women Code (IiWC) has expanded to 190 signatories, up from 134 last year. This is more than a 41% rise. New signatories include M&G Catalyst and Funding Circle
  • Backers of the Code represent over £1trn in assets under management
  • The newly founded Women Backing Women campaign via the Women Angel Investment Taskforce engaged thousands of new and prospective female angel investors to help unlock new sources of early-stage funding for founders across the UK

Redoubled support for female entrepreneurs required

Yet, the report is clear that female entrepreneurs still need more and focused support. Entrepreneurs are facing rising inflation, supply chain disruption, widespread uncertainty and a tightened funding landscape.

  • YouGov research commissioned by the Rose Review in 2022 found that 80% of female entrepreneurs did not feel confident about economic growth in the coming year
  • A third of those surveyed expected their businesses to become smaller over that time, and almost half expected fundraising to become more difficult

Despite this, female entrepreneurs represent huge economic potential for the UK: £250 billion could be added to the UK economy if women matched men in starting and scaling businesses.

We now need to double down on our work to ensure entrepreneurs can start new businesses and existing firms can get the guidance they need to prosper.

Alison Rose DBE
CEO of NatWest Group

Focused support from Rose Review partners

To unlock their potential and support female founders in this challenging economic landscape, the Rose Review and its partners are driving forwards new and existing initiatives to help more women to start and build thriving businesses.

In 2023, the Rose Review and its partners commit to:

  • Offer three million business support opportunities over three years for female founders across the UK and in all sectors.
  • Grow the pool of UK women angels from 14% to 30% by 2030 through the work of the Women Angel Investment Taskforce and initiatives such as Women Backing Women campaign.
  • Work with IiWC signatories to showcase positive change across the industry, to influence broader transformation and increase investment in women-led businesses.
  • Relaunch and maximise the use of the Invest in Women Hub as a go-to destination for women seeking to raise capital.

Dame Alison Rose, NatWest Group CEO, says: “We now need to double down on our work to ensure entrepreneurs can start new businesses and existing firms can get the guidance they need to prosper.

“We will broaden access to information, support and practical resources through the relaunched Invest in Women Hub, which will act as a go-to destination for female founders seeking to raise capital.”

Download the Report

Rose Review Progress Report 2023 (PDF, 8.4MB)

Download the Infographic

Rose Review Progress Report 2023 (PDF, 41kB)

This material is published by NatWest Group plc (“NatWest Group”), for information purposes only and should not be regarded as providing any specific advice. Recipients should make their own independent evaluation of this information and no action should be taken, solely relying on it. This material should not be reproduced or disclosed without our consent. It is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which this would be prohibited. Whilst this information is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by NatWest Group and NatWest Group makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any kind, as regards the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage arising in any way from any use made of or reliance placed on, this information. Unless otherwise stated, any views, forecasts, or estimates are solely those of NatWest Group, as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Copyright © NatWest Group. All rights reserved.

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