GUEST BLOG: Men vs women

There has been much discussion recently of the different talents men and women bring to business. Depending on what you believe, men are more aggressive; women consider decisions thoroughly before choosing a course of action. Men don't wait to be asked to participate in a discussion, whereas women do; the list goes on.

Recently I came across a survey which found that 44 per cent of female entrepreneurs believe their business talent cannot be learnt. They possess an inherent skill that is innate to their gender.

The survey also found that 82 percent of female entrepreneurs did not study business nor management topics at school, believing they were born with their business talent, and 18 per cent had not obtained higher qualifications after leaving school.

While I agree that many of the talents that make an entrepreneurial lifestyle are instinctive, such as being outgoing, good at networking, and being able to operate on a shoestring budget, I don't believe that these are gender specific.

I think both men and women are equally capable of becoming entrepreneurs, it's probably more dependent on personality traits than gender.

However I find the fact that 18 percent of female entrepreneurs have not obtained higher qualifications after leaving school encouraging, because it shows there is a career path for those of us not academically inclined.

I did not attend university and I have not let that hold me back. Of course learning core business skills on the job is crucial, such as accounting skills and 'business literacy'. But for those of us who didn't attend university it shows that there are still many opportunities in the world.

The fact that twice as many men as women start a business, could be a reflection of many men being more confident than women (for whatever reason) and is something that everywoman is working to address.

We have recently joined with the Federation of Small Businesses to encourage more women to set up their own businesses as part of their Real-Life Entrepreneurs campaign.

While taking the plunge to start your own business can be scary, it can also be hugely rewarding, and we are working to support more women in taking that plunge.

Our conference on 1 November in London will be offering plenty of practical advice and a huge amount of inspiration for women who are already entrepreneurs, as well as those considering starting a business.

The first five people to email by midday Friday 28 October will get a free ticket, worth £125 + VAT.

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