‘UK’s premier business awards for women’

Blackpool Unlimited: supporting Blackpool’s women in business

Blackpool Unlimited is on hand to offer the business support that helps more female entrepreneurs succeed.

We’re extremely proud to be sponsoring the New Business category of this year’s EVAs. New business is what we do. It’s who we support. And while our support is available for free to anyone launching a business in Blackpool, evidence suggests it’s women who are most likely to benefit from it.

The challenge for women-led businesses

In 2018, only 1 in 3 UK entrepreneurs was female. On average, female-led businesses are only 44% of the size of male-led businesses, in terms of their contribution to the economy. Male-led small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are five times more likely to scale up to £1million turnover than female-led SMEs. According to British Business Bank, female business owners experience significantly lower median turnover than male business owners (£15,000 compared with £45,000).

Locally, we see rather a different picture. An almost even split of men and women seek our support to launch their businesses. In our experience women tend to start their businesses later. They tend to be more detailed and diligent in their planning, which can only improve their chances of success. But they are more likely to suffer from imposter syndrome (the feeling that you don’t deserve to be in your position) and are therefore perhaps less likely to feel confident about their businesses. Research from 2021 shows they’re also more likely to start their business alone.

Local success stories

That’s why what we do matters so much. It’s also why, over the past few years, we’ve been championing women in Blackpool who’ve launched a wide range of businesses. They’ve overcome challenges in establishing and growing their businesses. They’ve faced down pandemic problems and premises pressures. And they’ve overcome confidence issues, health challenges and more to lead successful, rewarding businesses. Here’s just a small sample.

  • Sarnai, a classically trained ballet dancer, launched a dance academy
  • Teresa helped rebuild her life by launching a non-surgical and non-invasive mobile specialist body and facial aesthetics beauty business
  • Kayliegh launched her skincare and massage therapy business, and is contemplating a second business as a skateboarding coach
  • Julie has grown her accounting business

Getting the help they need

One thing they all have in common is that they found the extra help they needed with Blackpool Unlimited. Every startup and growing business need a little help now and then. But as the research we mentioned earlier demonstrates, women are more likely to be going it alone, which makes having a trusted source of support even more vital.

From business planning to finding premises, funding sources to practicalities like training, recruitment and licensing, we’re proud to have helped women across Blackpool find the answers they’ve needed and take their next step in business.

Top tips for business

So what about you? If you’re reading this thinking about launching your own business, we hope the stories of local people inspire you, and we’re here to help.

To get started, find help and advice to start your business here.

And when you need a sounding board, get in touch.

Congratulations to everyone winning, shortlisted or nominated for an EVA! We hope you have an amazing evening.