According to a recent survey by NatWest, over half of female business owners (56%) with childcare or other family caring responsibilities saying it presents challenges to the smooth running of their business – compared with 36% of men.
This resonates with a key finding of the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship which launched in March, identifying disproportionate family care responsibilities as a main barrier to women looking to start or run a business. Of those surveyed, 49% of women said responsibilities had impacted plans for future growth of the business, compared to 36% of men, with 41% feeling that they had been misjudged or treated differently due to their family caring responsibilities.
Speaking to over 350 business owners in the UK, listening to the needs of those with caring responsibilities, NatWest has responded and created more flexibility around 2 products to support business owners and entrepreneurs – helping them to defer or delay payments when needed on their business loan, and pay only for an overdraft when required. These supportive products are the first of their kind, offering flexibility for business owners when it is needed most. As opposed to caring responsibilities being a subject for business owners to shy away from, NatWest wants to be part of the conversation, offering support where entrepreneurs have flagged they require it most.
Alison Rose, CEO Commercial and Private Banking, commented: “As with funding, the Rose Review found disproportionate family care responsibilities affect female entrepreneurs throughout the entrepreneurial journey. The significance of this finding cannot be understated, given we know that flexibility around family care is the number one reason for women with children to start a business, I was therefore keen for this to be looked at as a priority. Whilst this was identified as a key barrier for women, obviously family responsibilities can affect all entrepreneurs and I am proud that, as a bank, we are able to offer these ‘Family First’ supportive products to business owners, giving them the flexibility to focus on what is important to them – their families.”
Capital Repayment Holidays on Variable and Fixed Rate Loans:
A capital repayment holiday of up to 12 months can be offered on fixed or variable rate loans, starting from £25,000 – allowing business owners some payment flexibility to focus on family.
Pay As You Go Overdrafts:
For those business owners who have a family care event, a ‘Pay as you go overdraft’, will be available from £500 up to £25,000, which is designed to help with any irregularities in income during this period. The fee will also be waived for these overdrafts during this period.
NatWest will continue to play a key role in developing flexible financial support for female entrepreneurs and business owners with caring responsibilities.