Childcare is a 'major' hurdle for female entrepreneurs
Childcare is among the biggest barriers for women starting their own business, a survey claims.
More than 70pc of female business owners who are mothers and were questioned for the survey find that childcare costs are a major challenge.
The research was carried out by the Local Enterprise Offices in Cork and Kerry and involved a sample of 150 business women.
Christine Heffernan, business adviser with the Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West, said childcare has always been a limiting factor for self-employed women.
"Not only is the cost of childcare a major issue, but maternity leave for self-employed women - particularly sole traders - is a bugbear as they must decide whether to return to work early or take the State benefit available to them but essentially close their business for those 26 weeks, which isn't viable for many," Ms Heffernan said.
More than half of those surveyed feel that setting up a business as a woman remains more challenging than it is for a man.