Only one in five businesses is majority-owned by a woman, according to a report produced by Solihull MP Lorely Burt, the Ambassador for Women in Enterprise.
Burt also found that women are one third less likely than men to start a business.
Since 2008 the proportion of SMEs run by women has increased by almost 50 per cent, but Burt said: ‘Sadly too much female entrepreneurial talent remains untapped.’
Research conducted by executive recruitment specialist Norman Broadbent found that only 7 per cent of appointments to boards of companies listed on the AIM market in the last three years were women.
The study also revealed that the proportion of women on AIM boards is lagging behind all other UK quoted companies, which boast around three times as many female non-executive directors but only Germany legally requires more women in the boardroom with a move to introduce legislation in the past week.