From education to employment

Male students twice as likely to set up their own business than female classmates

The Student Room have ran some exclusive research with The University of Law Business School and can reveal that male students are twice as likely to set up their own business that their female classmates!

By the age of 21, there are sadly twice as many male entrepreneurs than female at university. Female students also have less ambition to ever want to start their own business than their male classmates.

The study found that the gender divide is down to higher anxieties and lack of confidence in female students. I’ve included the main findings and statistics below:


A new survey by The Student Room and The University of Law Business School, of over 1,200 university students found:

  • There are more than twice as many male uni entrepreneurs (20%) compared to female (8%)
  • More than half (54%) of male students aspire to start their own business but only 39% of females 
  • Men are more motivated to earn more money – their no. one reason to start their own business (29%) followed by freedom of being their own boss (19%)
  • For female students freedom is the biggest driver (27%), followed by the potential to do social good (22%) 

* young female students are consistently more anxious when it comes to owning their own business than men

The Student Room wants to help empower aspiring female entrepreneurs struggling with confidence to get started. We have case studies of successful female business owners that started-up whilst still studying at uni. Using these and the research, would you be interested in an advice feature for example, showing how young women can overcome self doubts and follow their desire to start up their own business?


26-year-old Kim Aviv, founder of tech start-up PathfinderExperience as a female business owner

“It wasn’t easy to ensure that I was taken seriously, and on one occasion, despite having consciously chosen to wear trousers to a meeting to de-gender myself, a VC executive asked me why I’m not wearing a skirt with my long legs. Often it felt like it was a lost battle, and there wasn’t a way to win respect. I did manage to raise investment from five male Angel investors who I have the utmost appreciation and respect for, but following my experiences, I believe that the startup community as a whole and the tech sector in particular is seriously oppressive towards females.

“It is tiring to have your intelligence and capabilities questioned from the very start of a conversation, almost every day, just because of your gender. It is frustrating to see lesser startups that are male-run raise more capital, just because of gender. I overcome these hurdles every single day as a female business owner and yearn for the day where my gender wouldn’t play a role in how I am perceived and respected.”


“As someone who found themselves anxious and confused throughout their studies, I can honestly say that you can do whatever you put your mind to, what you don’t know you will learn, what you haven’t tried you will experience, and if you fail you will survive. The journey is as important as the end result, and it’s a hell of a ride.”

2. Abigail and Chloe Baldwin, 24-year-old twin co-founders of creative studio ButtercrumbleExperience as a female business owner

“When we first started our business, we were both shy and worried about other people’s perceptions of us. We’ve definitely had to try harder to be taken seriously as young women and had to prove that we’re capable, but we soon realised that we had supporters out there. We’re still introverts, but we’ve gained so much self-confidence as the business has developed and we’ve had the pleasure of working on projects with John Lewis, Chester Zoo and the Royal Armouries.”


“You don’t need to be the best in the world or a global success overnight. Take each day as it comes, because you’re constantly improving and strengthening your skills. As long as you’re persistent, strong-willed and passionate about your idea, you can achieve!”

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