BIRMINGHAM, England, November 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
NEW figures on export trends have revealed a growing number of women business owners tapping into the export market.
Research by academics at the University of Strathclyde and Aston University shows that two out of five women business owners now have customers overseas.
The figure has more than doubled from 20 per cent to 43 per cent in more than a decade for established business owners, and 27 per cent to 42 per cent for new business owners.
But the report also identifies a growing gender gap among significant exporters. The proportion of women business owners with a majority of their customers abroad has dropped by more than half since the recession began.
The study, entitled 'Exporting by Male and Female Entrepreneurs over the Business Cycle,' - carried out by Professor Jonathan Levie, of Strathclyde Business School and Professor Mark Hart, of Aston Business School - shows that there has been no such drop among male entrepreneurs.
Professor Levie said: "Far fewer women entrepreneurs now source most of their customers from overseas markets than they did before the recession. But this is not the case for men."
The academics say the decline in the proportion of female entrepreneurs involved in larger scale export activity are unclear.
However Professor Mark Hart said it could be down to the fact that, in the downturn, women were not as willing as men to leave themselves open to as many risks overseas, such as currency fluctuations and the vagaries of the export market.
Professor Hart said: "Further research is required to identify reasons for the gap in export intensity and what might be done about it.
"The decline is particularly noticeable for those in the most export intensive businesses. There has been no such decline among males, and there was not this gender difference a decade ago."
The paper's findings come from the detailed analysis of databases from the UK Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, (GEM), covering the major economic cycle of 2002 to 2013.
A full copy of the paper 'Exporting by Male and Female Entrepreneurs over the Business Cycle' can be found at http://www.aston.ac.uk/aston-business-school/research/projects/gem/
SOURCE Aston Business School