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The UK’s women are succeeding more than ever right now in e-commerce. Moreover, it turns out that they are not only outgrowing their male counterparts, but are also outdoing all other European countries.

The number of self-employed women in online retail in the United Kingdom has risen by 28% between 2009 and 2014. An impressive number, particularly when looking at the other big European nations: 17% in France, 5% in Italy and -2% in Germany.

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Britons are early adopters

These figures undermine the fact that Britain is a nation of early adopters, particularly in the tech scene. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that each individual is tech savvy per se.

Britons just seem to embrace what’s there, which, at the moment, is the possibility of using ready-made e-commerce solutions that are customisable with just a few clicks. 1&1, for example, offers online packages to create an entire online presence, with no coding experience necessary.

Women create more jobs

The research, conducted by eBay using government data, also revealed that the number of UK female entrepreneurs in online retail has grown faster than the rate of male ecommerce entrepreneurs. The number of self-employed men in online retail only increased by 10% over the same period. Tanya Lawler, eBay UK CEO, said: “We’re seeing more and more women set up successful enterprises, and for all the talk of a glass ceiling, Britain is actually a nation of self-made women.

Women also created significantly more jobs than their male counterparts. 10% of female-founded e-commerce businesses have employees, the study found – 5 times more than e-commerce businesses established by men (2%).

Gender gap limits potential of women

Another study, conducted by Dell, found that the economic potential of women entrepreneurs in many countries is still strongly limited. More than 70% of the 31 countries in the study score below 50%, demonstrating a significant growth gap between female and male-owned businesses worldwide (76% of global GDP is covered by the study). The United States, Canada and Australia are named the best places for female entrepreneurship in the overall ranking.

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There are too many people wanting to start a tech business and too few investors. According to new research, presented at a recent conference in San Francisco and organised by Women 2.0, a media company devoted to women founders in the tech industry, women in charge could offer the solution. Female led private technology companies are more capital efficient, achieve 35% higher return on investment, and, when backed by venture capital, bring in 12% higher revenue than male-owned tech companies, the study claims.

This research could well indicate that female entrepreneurs, who have traditionally lagged behind their male counterparts due to a range of social issues, are catching up. Certainly we are seeing encouraging signs of heading in the right direction, even if we are still some way off true equality of opportunity between genders overall.