Women in business: own your imposter

New NatWest research suggests women entrepreneurs are being held back because they lack the confidence and faith in their own abilities.

Last updated: 13 Sep 2019 3 min read

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So-called ‘ imposter syndrome ’ is deterring women from starting their own business, according to new research from NatWest.

Almost two thirds (60%) of would-be female entrepreneurs blamed a lack of confidence for putting them off, the belief that they are “not the kind of person” who could start a business, or a feeling that they didn’t deserve to succeed.

The research follows the publication of the Rose Review, commissioned by HM Treasury and led by Alison Rose, CEO of commercial and private banking at NatWest, which found that only one in three UK entrepreneurs is female. The review found that lack of access to funding, risk aversion, primary care responsibilities and perception of skills are among the barriers female entrepreneurs need to overcome.

To that end, NatWest has launched the #OwnYourImposter campaign, which aims to support women by building their confidence to start or grow their business. The bank is also launching a new crowdfunding platform Back Her Business, to help would-be businesswomen gain access to funding and female-focused initiatives, such as mentoring support from successful women.

One of the mentors who has already signed up to Back Her Business is award-winning documentary filmmaker Stacey Dooley. She recently hosted a panel discussion for the #OwnYourImposter campaign with these inspirational women:

  • Michelle Kennedy, founder of parenting network app Peanut
  • Ebony Rainford-Brent, retired England cricketer and broadcaster
  • Poorna Bell, journalist and author
  • Pippa Murray, founder of nut butter brand Pip & Nut
  • Baroness McGregor-Smith, former CEO of Mitie Group
  • Yvonne Greeves, head of women in business at NatWest

The panel discussed their own experiences dealing with imposter syndrome and also offered tangible advice on how to get past in the following videos.

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