UK in recession, but some people are weathering the economic storm

Confidence among female business owners is still high and most expect growth, says study

While GDP data yesterday suggested the UK is back in recession, a new study bucked the gloomy trend and revealed that female entrepreneurs are weathering the economic storm. Women's business start-ups have proved resilient in hard times.

An Ipsos Mori survey of 1,000 self-employed women and those who owned businesses found that confidence is still high with 84 per cent expecting growth or stability for the next three years.

Nearly half of the women surveyed were the chief income-earners in their household and nearly two-thirds were so-called "kitchen table" entrepreneurs who run a successful business from home.

Melissa Morgan, who runs a successful baking business in south London that employs eight people said: "Women are stubborn. When a woman sets her mind to something I think it takes a lot to sway her."

Case studies: How we're beating the recession

Margaret Punchard, 57, Plymouth

Owner of True Design Cards & Crafts, in Ivybridge, Plymouth. She opened her shop at the start of the economic slowdown, but through a focus on her local market, has defied the downward trend: "I started the business about three-and-a-half years ago, with nothing and built it up slowly. You add on where you can. It was said I started at a bad time, and I have felt the recession. In the first few days I hadn't a penny in the till and thought, "What have I done?" But the business has gone from strength to strength. People realise it is good to support local businesses and when you factor in the cost of petrol and parking to travel to Plymouth, I'm just as cheap as High Street brands. I love doing the work I do."

Melissa Morgan, 36, south London

Ms Morgan was a dance and drama teacher in primary schools when she decided to start her own business selling vegan cupcakes from a market stall in Greenwich in 2010.

The business was such an instant success that in April last year she opened her first shop in Brixton – London's first vegan bakery – and now employs eight people.

Ms Morgan, who has dubbed herself Ms Cupcake, also the name of her shop, had no start-up grant, no bank loans and no experience of the catering industry. "Women are just as capable as men at running businesses, if not more so," she said. "Women are stubborn. When a woman sets her mind to something I think it takes a lot to sway her away from it. We are intuitive, we listen to what the customer wants."

Davinia Livock, 26, Bristol

Davinia used to work in marketing but quit her job last year to set up her own business selling luxury handbags.

"It might seem a strange decision to start a business in a recession but I have not run a business in any other environment so I have nothing to compare it to. I always had an ambition to start my own business, I'm getting married shortly and I wanted to do it before having children. I started my business because I am not into labels but I do like quality things. So I found suppliers, got brochures printed and haven't looked back. I really enjoy the flexibility of the hours and working for myself. I like that I have to make all the decisions."

The  'Everyday Entrepreneur Report' was commissioned by Avon and analysed by Professor Julie Logan of Cass Business School

Suggested Topics
VIDEO
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Life & Style
tech
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Telesales & Sales Support Apprentice

£221.25 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a well established Inter...

Client Relationship Manager - SQL, Python

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Client Relationship Manager - SQL...

**Financial Services Tax**

£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Take your chance to join the...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers