In an effort to further increase the number of female-run businesses in the United Kingdom, the all-female team behind Bloom Gin is giving budding female entrepreneurs the chance to win a share of £25,000 ($32,500 USD) to fund their “Passion Projects.”
The initiative follows research from the Gin brand, which polled 2,000 UK women aged 25 and over, and found that an overwhelming majority (84%) did not believe that women had yet achieved true equality in the workplace, with 65% stating that we need to see more women in senior management positions and 50% wanting to see more female entrepreneurs.
The research also found that while nearly half (45%) of women had considered starting their own business, only 18% had gone on to do so, with 60% admitting they had been unable to progress their ambitions. The main reasons cited for this included not having the funds to get going (55%), a lack of confidence (51%), and the need to juggle existing work and children (49%).
In response to this, Bloom Gin is launching a new initiative that aims to inspire, motivate, and support budding female entrepreneurs, teaming up with some of the UK’s most inspiring female business leaders and owners to encourage the next generation of female entrepreneurs to take their Passion Projects to the next level. Over the next month, these successful female entrepreneurs will share their own journeys, including the highs and lows they experienced along the way, through a content series hosted on Bloom Gin’s Instagram page (@bloomgin).
Supporters of the campaign include:
- Joyce & Raissa De Haas – Founders of tonic brand Double Dutch
- Hilary Rowland – Founder of the fitness movement Boom Cycle
- Steph Douglas – Founder of gifting website, Don’t Buy Her Flowers
- Orlagh McCloskey and Henrietta Rix – Co-Founders of the global fashion label, Rixo
- Eshita Kabra-Davies – Founder of the UK’s first peer-to-peer fashion rental app, By Rotation
- Lauren Dallas – Co-Founder and CEO of Future Females
- Abi Oyepitan and Liha Okunniwa – Co-Founders of sustainable beauty brand, Liha Beauty
- Mercedes Benson – DJ and Founder of Social Fixt, an organisation connecting black talent to jobs in creative industries
- Ria Hebden – Presenter and regular on ITV’s Lorraine, also founder of Wonder Women TV
Despite it being the 21st century, the research revealed that women still perceive the biggest barriers to progression in their career to be related to childcare (65%) and maternity leave (61%). The cost of childcare (55%), the lack of female representation at a senior level (42%) and lack of opportunities for women in historically male-dominated areas (e.g. STEM) (36%) also featured strongly. It’s therefore no surprise that women feel like they need to stick together, with the research revealing that ninety-six percent (96%) of women believe it is important to support other women.
With the government pledging to increase the number of female entrepreneurs in Britain by 50% by 2030, the research indicates that more may need to be done in order to achieve this. When it comes to help and advice that women would like to receive around starting their own business, financial support came out on top in the research (45%), followed closely by help with a business plan (39%), advice on marketing (32%), access to ongoing business coaching (27%) and advice on networking (25%).
In response to this, Bloom Gin will also be partnering with Future Females, a global movement with 50,000 members, that exists to increase the number of and success of female entrepreneurs. Together they will launch ‘Bloom in Business’ – a skills workshop series to help female entrepreneurs to develop the key personal and technical skills needed to start and grow a thriving business. All resources will be free and you can sign up for them on the Bloom Gin Passion Projects official site.
When it comes to the biggest motivators for women starting their own business, financial reward is not cited as a top reason, with the women polled placing a higher value on the following five benefits:
Top 5 motivations for women starting their own business
- Ability to follow their passion (60%)
- More flexibility when it comes to work (55%)
- Better work/life balance (52%)
- Ability to utilise core skills/strengths (48%)
- Ability to be their own boss (45%)
The research also found that for many women, Covid-19 lockdown has made them reflect and readjust their priorities, with nearly half of women (45%) stating they now want more time to focus on themselves and their future ambitions, including the things they are most passionate about. As a result, a further 45% have started a new hobby or progressed with an existing hobby, with one in ten of these women (10%) turning it into a side business. When respondents were asked why they have not turned this side business into a full time business, the top reasons given were lack of time due to already having another full-time or part-time job (32%), a lack of confidence (30%) and a lack of financial resource (24%).
This led BLOOM Gin to launch its Passion Projects competition, which is giving budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to win a share of £25,000 in funding, which will enable them to dedicate time, money and resources to taking their Passion Project to the next level. Those interested should head to the application page and follow the steps to submit their business proposal. Entries will open on September 7, 2020 and suitable candidates will have until midnight on December 11, 2020 to submit their entries. Entrants must be aged 25 or over. Terms & conditions apply.
Finalists will then be announced in January and will be invited to the grand finale, which will take place in February 2021. Here finalists will have the opportunity to meet the judging panel, including the Founders of Double Dutch, Boom Cycle and Social Fixt, before pitching their business proposal to the judges in front of a live audience.
Elaine Maher, Bloom Gin Brand Director, commented: “Bloom Gin came about as a result of our Master Distiller’s passion for gin and her desire and determination to make a gin that even non-gin drinkers would appreciate; Bloom has since gone on to become a much loved gin brand around the world, which just goes to show what you can do when you believe in yourself. With Bloom Passion Projects, we’re aiming to inspire other women to go for it, just like Joanne did, and support them to achieve their potential. The women who are joining us on this initiative are truly inspirational and we’re all looking forward to helping the next generation of female entrepreneurs to bloom.”