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Expat Investor : May June 2009
STATISTICS & ANALYSES Female entrepreneurs overtake men in ambition A medley of statistics and analyses revealing much about our responses to saving, investing and spending our money. 1 in 8 look for help with debts More than one in eight people have sought advice on how to get their debts under control as financial pressure on keeping up repayments builds, according to new research from MoneyExpert.com. The independent financial comparison website says 13% of adults have asked for help to control their borrowing as economic worries have prompted them to cut back on loans, credit cards and mortgages. But there are signs that people who are most concerned about their debt problems are not seeking advice early enough – 51% of those who say they are very concerned about their ability to manage their debts have not sought help. MoneyExpert.com is urging people who are concerned about their ability to manage their debts to get help as soon as possible and not to wait until they start missing repayments. Its research shows 30% of adults are concerned about their ability to manage their personal debt. Sean Gardner, Director of MoneyExpert.com, says, “Debt has been the ticking timebomb in the UK economy for the past few years with regular warnings that it’s about to go off. The fear must be that 2009 will see the explosion. “The Council of Mortgage Lenders is warning about rising home repossessions and the banks are reporting growing levels of bad debts as customers fall behind on repayments. “The fact that one in eight adults has sought debt help shows that debt advice is a growing industry and demonstrates that there is help out there.We’d advise everyone who is concerned to seek help early.” Around 27.4 million people who have ever had debt say they have never asked for advice about managing the money they owe. Some 82% of people with debts either feel in control of their cash or are burying their heads in the sand, MoneyExpert.com believes. Women are more likely to seek advice than men and young people are least likely to turn for help, with just 5% of 18 to 24-year-olds claiming to have spoken to a person or organisation about managing debts. New research from NatWest has revealed women business owners have taken over their male counterparts for growth ambition. Their desire to lead the way in SME growth could represent a £12 billion pound injection to a struggling UK economy. These findings show that female enterprise has come of age in many ways, as today’s women business owners prove they are more than ready to play their part in a fiercely competitive sector. In a survey of over 1,500 small business owners (male and female), it was women who revealed the greatest entrepreneurial drive. With the average current female business turning over around £200,000, reporting an average increase in turnover of up to 25%, female entrepreneurs could be contributing an additional £12 billion to the UK economy in the next five years. Those sectors most confident about growth are healthcare (51%) and marketing/media (42%), both predicting growth up to 25%. Those women surveyed also demonstrated good business sense by ensuring they put the structure in place to measure success and achieve their goals; 55% of women work to a business plan, compared with only 34% of men. In addition, women are more likely to allocate specific revenue and profit targets to their business (47% compared to 37% of men). For women ‘increasing brand recognition’ (61%) was the most important area for growth, followed by ‘increasing services’ (45%). Only 14% of women were happy sustaining their businesses at the current level. Worryingly, over half (53%) of women business owners surveyed do not feel confident they understand the financial products available, compared with just over a quarter of men. Not being aware of all the methods of raising finance available could be the greatest barrier of growth as financial assistance is often required when taking a business venture to the next level. Angela Bate, NatWest Women in Business Manager, comments, “The lack of financial awareness identified in our research highlights the need for initiatives like our pioneering banking service for female business owners. “Since launch, our Women in Business Service has attracted over 18,000 new female owned businesses in search of a bespoke banking service.” Money Talks continues on page 24 May/June 2009 ● EXPAT INVESTOR 19
March April 2009