The rise of women business-owners
PUBLISHED: 10:14 11 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:15 11 March 2016
The rise and rise of Britain's female entrepreneurs: WEL speaks to a female electrician and a life coach about starting their own busiesses
The number of women business-owners escalated by 10 per cent from 2012 to 2014, compared to just a 3.3 per cent rise in the number of male entrepreneurs, according to government statistics.
Women are increasingly turning to self-employment, citing work/life balance one of the key reasons for becoming their own boss. Starting out can be tough, but Debbie Ellen, owner of DEEP, says going it alone is the best decision she’s ever made. Debbie launched her life coaching, counselling and reiki business two years ago and says: ‘Starting your own business is a big commitment, you can find yourself working long hours so my advice would be, make sure you’re pursuing something you feel passionate about.’
Debbie, who runs a mobile service of home visits alongside seeing clients at Tranquility in South Woodford and Revival Spa in Theydon Bois, left her job as a lone parent advisor at the job centre to start DEEP after a difficult year that made her reassess her own priorities.
‘After having a baby I suffered depression and reiki really helped,’ she says. ‘I then became interested in life coaching. It was a difficult period but, ultimately, life-changing and completely changed my direction.’
Single mum Debbie says one of the best things about being her own boss is the ability to balance work with family time. ‘I’ve been able to commit to more after-school activities and our family life has benefited enormously,’ she says.
‘It can be difficult making sure you’re fitting in work with everything else, from homework to cooking dinner, but I’m enjoying it so much, the rewards far outweigh the challenges.
‘You can’t put a price on doing something you love, and helping people change their lives for the better is incredibly fulfilling.’
Louise Tarling was a civil servant for 20 years before taking redundancy and launching her own electrician business in Chingford.
Louise says: ‘I started to feel like every day was becoming the same and really wanted to do something new.’
Louise had an interest in electrics, having renovated properties with her husband and been a telecommunications technician with the Territorial Army.
She says: ‘I researched the demand for a female electrician and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Starting out in a male-dominated industry was a bit daunting, but it’s also an advantage. Being a female electrician is my USP and is what makes my business different.’
Louise started training for her electrical qualifications at college, then when the opportunity for redundancy came up, she quit her job and started Louise Tarling Electrical in August 2015.
She says: ‘The best thing about being your own boss is the freedom, I never realised you could work full-time but be flexible. The worst is that my days can sometimes be long and unsociable, as I fit in around my customer’s timetables, but that’s just the way it goes.’
Louise’s advice to women looking to launch their own project is do your homework. ‘You need to make sure your idea is viable then just go for it. It was a complete career change for me and, at times, terrifying, particularly adjusting to the fact there’s no regular salary coming in but I’ve no regrets. I love being my own boss.’
Louise Tarling Electrical
www.deepuk.com, 07951 736115