By Daniel Hunter

Female entrepreneurs are less likely to have failed in setting up a business than men, even though they are more likely to face obstacles, according to new research commissioned by private bank Kleinwort Benson, in partnership with YouGov.

The statistics revealed that despite encountering more obstacles and a greater likelihood of fearing failure, women are more likely to successfully set up a business. Out of a sample of 500 business leaders questioned, just 11% of female respondents said they had failed to set up a successful business, compared to 17% of men.

However, while being more likely to succeed, women have a greater fear of failure than men, with 40% of female respondents confessing to a fear of failing to set up a business compared to 36% of men. Almost half, 42%, of women also said that they had to overcome obstacles, compared to 32% of men questioned.

Small business owners in the Midlands and Wales were most likely (18%) to say that they had failed to set up a business, compared to 14% for their counterparts in both Scotland and the North, and London and the South. However, 50% of London entrepreneurs face late payments from clients, compared to only 36% in the Midlands.

The 55+ age category reported the lowest rate of fear of failing at 34%. This group also reported the lowest rate of having to overcome obstacles, at 32%. In addition, 20% of entrepreneurs aged up to 45 felt that they had seen negative impacts on the business, such as being overlooked by investors, compared to just 4% for those aged 46 to 54.

Paul Bentley, head of entrepreneurs at Kleinwort Benson, said: “In our experience, female entrepreneurs tend to be more risk averse and position themselves better to create long term value. This is beneficial in two ways. Firstly they often avoid the pitfalls that befall early stage businesses. Secondly, their businesses will have demonstrated a more consistent track record and they will be more attractive to potential acquirers.”

Kleinwort Benson says it has seen a 30% rise in the number of female entrepreneur clients over the last two years. Paul Bentley added: “Our new female clients are from a wide range of industries but we are seeing significant number from technology and property, which is borne out by the research. Overall, we can see that women are increasingly embracing entrepreneurship and are successfully overcoming obstacles, such as funding, late payments and generating sales, to become models of entrepreneurial growth.”