Women less likely to seek help when starting a business

Three women wearing bright coloured tops smiling at the camera
Fiverr/Virgin StartUp
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
13 September 2023

Women founders are much less likely to ask for help when starting a business than their male counterparts, according to new research.

The study, commissioned by Virgin StartUp and freelance marketplace Fiverr, polled 500 UK founders who have started a business in the last five years and found that the majority of new business founders are unlikely to outsource tasks in the early stages of their start-up. Among those who didn’t outsource, twice as many women as men said that they didn’t know how to go about outsourcing business tasks such as accounting, branding, marketing and web design, or simply chose to do it themselves.

Meanwhile, when it comes to asking for business advice, women over 45 are more likely to seek support than men. But in general, among younger generations both male and female founders are more comfortable asking for help.

Virgin StartUp and Fiverr launched this study ahead of the Female Founders Competition they are running together to address some of the challenges female founders face. One female founder will receive £15,000 worth of Fiverr credits to spend on freelance support for her business – as well as mentoring and business advice from business leaders and entrepreneurs who understand the challenges. Plus the other three female entrepreneurs who make it to the final will receive £1,750 to spend on Fiverr.

Andy Fishburn, Managing Director at Virgin StartUp, said: “Getting the right support and advice is crucial to the success of any new start-up and we know that women founders are more likely to face barriers when it comes to accessing the right support and funding. That’s why Virgin StartUp is committed to its 50/50 pledge to equally fund women and male founders who apply for a Start Up Loan. We’re pleased to be partnering with Fiverr on this competition to reach more female founders and offer them the support they need to thrive.”

Gali Arnon, Fiverr CMO, added: “As we move towards a more equitable and diverse business landscape, it is crucial to understand and address the barriers that impede entrepreneurs, especially women, from fully realising their potential. Collaboration and support are key to driving entrepreneurial success.”

Visit Fiverr to find out more.