Only 8% of founders are female - WHY?

An accompanying survey of 2,100 people also uncovered that over half of Britons would prefer to work for a startup than a large corporation, regardless of the risk. The research was undertaken by the team behind global affiliate network, in the wake of the launch of its Access programme, that allows startups and entrepreneurs to access the affiliate channel.

The team analysed the UK’s top 50 startups of 2019 in order to create a profile of the founders and the businesses themselves. 

A survey of 2,100 Britons over the age of 18 was undertaken as part of the study, including 600 that are currently working for a startup, or have worked for a startup within the past five years.

It was initially found that the average age of the founders when they started their company was just 32, with ages ranging from 23 to 56. The average age of the top 10 startups was slightly younger, at 31.

The sectors that appear most in the UK’s top 50 startups for 2019 were found to be tech (38%), finance (18%), consumer (10%) and business services (10%). Perhaps unsurprisingly, 88% of the top 50 were based out of London, with Southampton (4%) the second most popular location.  

One in 12 of the founders of the UK’s top 50 startups of 2019 were female, with four appearing in the complete list, accounting for 8%. Meanwhile, the majority (84%) of founders were discovered to have attended university.

More than half of Britons (57%) revealed that they would prefer to work for a startup than a large corporation, with the most popular reasons for saying so emerging as ‘there will be better opportunities’ (30%), ‘startups are less corporate’ (26%) and ‘I’ll have more responsibility’ (19%).

Those that were currently working – or had recently worked – in a startup were asked if they enjoyed it, and three in five (61%) affirmed that they did. The most common answers given for enjoying the job were ‘I like the atmosphere’ (28%), ‘I enjoy the greater responsibility’ (23%) and ‘I like the close connection with the founder’ (17%).

Commenting on the findings of the study, Michelle O’Sullivan, Business Development Director at Awin, said: “Awin Access has opened the door for start-ups and entrepreneurs to embrace affiliate marketing, so we wanted to take a closer look at the UK start-up landscape. It was eye-opening to find that the vast majority of the top start-ups are still based in London and founded by men; our service aims to support start-ups of all shapes and sizes to cause a stir in this highly competitive sphere. Early results show this is doing just that, with 25% of the business leads being female.”