Norwich - a great city for women to start a business

Norwich has been named as one of the best cities in the UK to start a business and this International Women’s Day – 8 March – Alice Macdonald, Labour Party Parliamentary candidate for Norwich North, is celebrating the city’s business owners and calling for more support for women looking to move into entrepreneurship. Alice will spend the morning of International Women’s Day at an event – at the Millennium Library in Norwich, hosted by the Business & IP Centre Norfolk and the Federation of Small Businesses, –  which aims to inspire more women to consider self-employment.    

Tech firm DoJo included Norwich in its list of the top 20 UK cities for women to start a business in its 2022 survey.  The ranking was based on factors such as start-up 5-year survival rate, average weekly pay and relative housing costs.  

It’s Labour Party policy to make Britain the best place to start and grow a business. In launching the ‘Start up, Scale-up’ Review of Small Business last year, Rachel Reeves, Shadow Chancellor said: “Innovation is a great British strength. But I’ve heard time and time again about the stubborn obstacles preventing many businesses from scaling up, and the opportunity to start and grow a business is still not shared widely enough.” 

Labour has pledged to put women at the heart of the economic recovery including by creating 100,000 start-ups across the country in the first term of a Labour government, benefitting many women entrepreneurs.  The party has also pledged to reform childcare, parental leave and workplace rights to support women with their careers and family life.

Alice Macdonald, said: 

“Even though Norwich has been named as a great place for women to start a business, only 4.2% of women in the city are self-employed, and so there’s a lot of untapped potential which Labour wants to help unleash.

There are still too many barriers facing women who want to start a business, including lower access to and awareness of capital and finance. It’s also been found that women lack relatable role models, women like them, who run their own company. That’s why it’s so important to shine a spotlight on business owners.”

Erika Watson MBE, is Director of Prowess Online, which is based in Norwich and a hub for women-friendly business support, inspiration and information. 

She says:
“Research by Norfolk Women’s Fund shows that self-employment is increasing for women in Norfolk while it’s going down for men. But women’s businesses still too often miss out on support, whether that’s the Covid finance deal or local economic development priorities. With the right assistance, mentoring and finance, many more women could be developing sustainable businesses that make a solid contribution to the Norwich economy.”

There is lots of support available in the city to women who are thinking about or already running their own businesses. 

Online hub for business support, inspiration and information

A business network with a social conscience

Business & IP Centre, Norfolk

Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services