Women in Self Employment Research 

The Women Adding Value to the Economy (WAVE) project is based at the University of South Wales and the focus of WISER is women in self employment/female entrepreneurs.

The WAVE programme is funded by the Convergence European Social Fund (ESF), through the Welsh Government.

The WAVE programme as a whole has been developed to look into issues which contribute to gender pay disparities in both employment and self employment.

Based at the University of South Wales our specific area of interest is women in self employment. Specifically, we want to understand more about female business owners and entrepreneurs, in terms of their motivations, experiences and aims, undertaking a research study in convergence areas of Wales to help us learn more about this.

Why is this research study important? 

There are fewer female than male entrepreneurs operating in every economy across the world (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: Women’s Report, 2012). However, reports also show that increasing numbers of women are starting their own businesses and the contribution this makes to economies is being noticed. The Women’s Business Council report (June 2013) states that small businesses run by women currently add around £70 billion to the UK economy and if business start up rates were equal between men and women, there could be 1 million more female entrepreneurs trading in the UK.

 It is economically important, particularly in the current financial climate, to find ways to increase the number of women running their own businesses and it is equally important that the contribution of women business owners and female entrepreneurs is valued and encouraged.

About Us

The aim of the WAVE programme is to understand and ‘interrupt’ the ways in which gender pay inequalities are consistently reproduced through occupational segregation in employment and self employment, through the ways in which ‘women’s work is contracted’ and through the operation of pay systems.


The WAVE programme has now concluded after 3 successful years.  There are still loads of fantastic organisations that you can get involved with, take a look!


Contact Us

Women Adding Value to the Economy (WAVE)

Central Management Team
The University of South Wales
Faculty of Business, Law, Accounting, Humanities and Social Sciences

Treforest Campus
Pontypridd, Wales - UK
CF37 1DL