Despite more women becoming interested in being entrepreneurs, very few would ever consider a move into politics.A survey by business price comparison service Make It Cheaper found that only one per cent of women entrepreneurs would ever consider standing as an MP, compared to ten per cent of men. Why such a big gap? It could have something to do with the fact that double the number of women view maintaining a good work/life balance as their biggest challenge (15 per cent women, 7 per cent men). That’s certainly the reason why Seema Sharma, the successful female entrepreneur who also appeared on Channel 4’s Slumdog Secret Millionaire, hasn’t thought about politics. “I made a conscious decision to go into an industry which allowed me to retain my work-life balance from the outset,” Sharma explains. “I can run my business from my PC and be there for my children at the same time. I would only consider politics when my daughters are older, simply because I don’t think I could do justice to a role in politics and their upbringing simultaneously.” But an astonishing 45 per cent of the female entrepreneurs also said they had no interest in politics, against only 14 per cent of men. Vicky Booth, spokesperson for the Lib Dems’ Campaign for Gender Balance, says this isn’t good enough. “We really need more talented women with a range of professional skills and backgrounds to come forward – including small business owners.” The difference in opinion between men and women doesn’t stop at politics, either. The research shows that the biggest challenges of running a small business also depends on your sex. While men were more frustrated with dealing with banks (10 per cent men, two per cent women) and central government red tape (12 per cent men, two per cent women); women were far more concerned with attracting and retaining customers (38 per cent women compared to 28 per cent men).
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