Female UK small business owners are the most optimistic in Europe about the future.

60% of UK small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) owners are optimistic about the future as the lockdown eases, despite the huge challenges the lie ahead, according to new research by Facebook, the World Bank and the OECD. This makes UK SME owners making the most optimistic in western Europe, alongside the Netherlands. 

UK SMEs remain amazingly positive and resilient despite nearly half being forced to temporarily close due to lockdown restrictions, and 58% suffering falls in sales and revenue, according to the new research.

Female-led UK SMEs have outperformed male-owned firms since the start of the coronavirus crisis. Over 60% of male-led firms reported a drop in sales during the lockdown compared to only 52% of female-run UK SMEs. Female owners were generally more optimistic about the future too compared to male SME owners.

The research also found that UK small businesses owners are among the most digitally advanced across Europe, with more over 50% now generating more than 25% of sales online. Again female owners outperformed male owners with online sales higher for firms run by females.

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