News, Pre-Start

Encouraging young women to Dream Bigger 

Young lady at laptop

Did you know that only 1 in 3 entrepreneurs in the UK are female? It’s a bit shocking, isn’t it? 

The UK is the start-up capital of Europe, attracting more venture capital than any other European country, yet only 5.6% of UK women run their own business. Compare this to 15% in Canada, nearly 11% in the US and over 9% in Australia and the Netherlands and it’s clear we have a way to go. 

To understand more, in 2019, NatWest Group CEO Alison Rose was commissioned by UK Government to conduct a review of women’s entrepreneurship. The Rose Review uncovered some of the key barriers to  women’s entrepreneurshipsuch as access to funding and perception of skills. Importantly, the review found that boosting women’s entrepreneurship could add £250bn to the UK economy and several initiatives which could help change this landscape were suggested, including: 

  • Support from private investors 
  • The expansion of mentoring and networking opportunities 
  • Accelerating the rollout of entrepreneurial courses to schools and colleges 

Why are schools important? 

Speaking of the crucial role of schools and colleges can play, Alison said: “Introducing entrepreneurship in schools increases awareness among young women and men increasing their confidence to one day start a business.” 

Embedding entrepreneurial education in the curriculum across the UK, can help drive confidence, broaden work horizons and opportunities and increase the percentage of young women who intend to start a business as a career option. Plus, through learning more about entrepreneurship, young women can develop new skills and capabilities to assist with future work. Increasing confidence and resilience across the board. 

What is Dream Bigger? 

To act on the Rose Review findings and equip young women with the skills and behaviours to excel in business creation and workRoyal Bank of Scotland have launched the Dream Bigger programme. Dream Bigger is a fully funded programme focused on developing transferrable entrepreneurial skills in young women (c16 – 24 years old) across the UK. The programme delivers three virtual workshops a week on: 

  • Introducing Entrepreneurship 
  • Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset 
  • Defining Entrepreneurial Purpose 

Mindset and purpose are two important areas when starting up a business. In entrepreneurship mindset just cannot be underestimatedSuccessful entrepreneurs, share important attitudes which consistently drive them forward including: 

  • Learning from failure (seeing it as an essential part of the process) 
  • Embracing challenge (falling in love with the problem, not the solution) 
  • Asking for feedback (seeking and acting on it at every opportunity) 
  • Having a clear vision (being focused on your goals and knowing how to achieve them) 
  • Leading and motivating those around you (and inspiring others to do the same) 

Great entrepreneurs also have a deep understanding of their purpose – and this is especially true of women – they know why they do what they do. Having a clear purpose keeps entrepreneurs motivated to achieve their goals, helping them stay resilient when facing challenging situations. Tips for understanding your “why” include: 

  • Identifying ways to make other people’s lives better 
  • Thinking about activities that make you forget about the passage of time 
  • Listening to others when they say you’re good at something 
  • Embracing your passion – what would you do for free if the paycheck didn’t matter? 

Interested to learn more? 

The Royal Bank of Scotland Dream Bigger sessions run via Zoom or Microsoft Teams for schools, colleges and other organisations who work with young people.  The bank also run full- and half-day live workshops in schools and their Accelerator Hubs across the UK. The live workshops delve deeper into these key areas of entrepreneurship and more, including confidence and self-awareness. The bank aim to resume these live sessions in the New Year. Click here for more information and enquire by email here about a Dream Bigger digital or live session. 


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