'Start-ups', NOP's research monitor tracking new businesses, found that women predicted an average turnover of pounds 50,000 in their first year, while men went for pounds 110,000. When questioned later, NOP found that men who had expected pounds 130,000 turnover in their first year achieved only pounds 120,000 in the first 18 months, whereas women who expected pounds 45,000 in the first year achieved pounds 75,000 after 18 months.
The discrepancy could not be wholly attributed to the different sectors men and women chose to work in, NOP said. Retail proved the most popular for both sexes, accounting for 30 per cent of female start-ups and 21 per cent of male.
Women are responsible for 28 per cent of start-ups in England and Wales.