Hilary Clinton stood forlornly under Manhattan’s highest real-life glass ceiling, and announced ““I know that we still have not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling…But someday someone will” as she conceded the US election to Donald Trump, the ultimate male chauvinist throwback.
It was 2016’s lowest moment, perhaps, for strong, female leaders. But here in the UK, many female entrepreneurs have enjoyed stellar years, especially if they have been affiliated with ecommerce platform NOTONTHEHIGHSTREET.COM.
The platform for independent and boutique traders supports 20 million-pound businesses, according to a recent press release from the company, and 17 of them are founded and run by women.
Even more astonishingly, the firm says that 89% of the 5,000 partners selling via the platform are founded and run by women. 89% percent! Come on lads, where are your art and craft, and fashion skills?
Notonthehighstreet has been going 10 years and allows merchants to sell their wares into a much larger global marketplace thanks to the site’s prominence online. A rival to the likes of Amazon and Etsy, Notonthehighstreet was founded by Holly Tucker MBE and Sophie Cornish MBE, and reached £158m in sales this year at a compound annual growth rate of 135% since launch.
Two new partner businesses have burst through the million pound mark this year, say Notonthehighstreet. Tilyanna, based in Monmouthshire, which makes personalised and locally influenced homeware, with an ethical focus, and Ellie Ellie, founded by Danielle Plowman in 2012, a young female entrepreneur with nothing but a sewing machine to her name.
She began selling her home-made clothes out of an arcade in West Sussex, before moving into a converted soap factory on the South-East coast.
In 2015 Lisa Angel, who is based in Norwich making high-quality jewellery and scarves, became the first female-founded notonthehighstreet.com Partner to reach the £3m turnover mark.
“As a business founded by two women, we are particularly proud that so many of our most successful Partners today were set up by women, many of whom wanted to fulfill their careers but in ways that preserved that all-important work life balance.”
said Ella D’Amato, Chief Commercial and Partner officer at Notonthehighstreet.com.
The company also revealed that the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that unemployment levels for women are at the lowest in over a decade, and the number of self-employed people in the UK has increased to 4.75m; that’s 15% of all workers.
Everywhere you look, attitudes towards women and work are changing. The days of the hunter-gatherer male, despite what happened across the pond, are numbered, it seems.