Arlette Lee was interviewed by London Firecrackers, the platform for rising entrepeneurs.
According to the Office of National Statistics, the number of women setting up their own businesses in the UK is growing, and not only that – research suggests that those women who do take the plunge are out-earning self-employed men.
Barclay’s Wealth & Investment Management conducted a global survey, and among 2,000 business people questioned, female entrepreneurs earned on average 17% more than their male counterparts.
Speaking to young entrepreneurs over the past few months, I’ve realised how important ‘understanding’ your money is, if you want to start making it.
Being your own boss and running your own business means you have complete control of your finances and you decide exactly what’s going in and out of the bank each month.
There’s a stereotypical view that women are more blasé about money than men – I do admit that my mind starts to drift when people start talking to me about financial planning and the fact that I should be starting a pension – but a basic understanding about one’s finances is vital if you’re going to run a successful business.
In February 2010 entrepreneur Arlette Lee left her job with a high-end investment company to radically change her life and start up her own fashion design company. I asked her for some tips on finances and what she thinks about female attitudes towards money…
A R L E T T E L E E:
“[In your own business] You have ultimate control of how every penny is spent – if you do your research thoroughly, you can spend and save wisely. It’s tough being responsible for every area of the business, but ultimately it’s the best way to learn.”
How important is a good attitude and can-do approach to finances?
“Essential. Sound business acumen is key, as well as a positive attitude towards money. Every day you should look at your figures and evaluate your strategy. Is it working? Where are the loopholes? What can be changed to move more effectively to the next stage? As tedious as it may seem, good financial systems are the backbone to a business. I recommend Intuit (an accounting and finance software package for small businesses).”
Are you surprised that self-employed women are out-earning self-employed men?
“No. Women are generally better at multi-tasking and when you’re self-employed you have to juggle constantly. This is a generation where women are using their skills and commanding their worth – as a result, they’re going out there and making their dreams happen.”
“Self-employment gives women the flexibility to establish a better balance between work, home and relationships. This balance enables them to excel in their chosen field, without enduring any unnecessary stress in the workplace.”
Thanks for the tips, Arlette!
Editor - Jessica King, London Firecrackers