Agency: Teneo Blue Rubicon
Facebook has been in the headlines in recent years for the wrong reasons, such as tax, online bullying and concerns about privacy. In an effort to mitigate this negativity, and to promote what is positive about the social networking platform, Facebook asked consumers what aspects of its business they admired.
The message that came through was that consumers admired entrepreneurs who used Facebook to run and promote their small businesses. There are 5.2 million small businesses in the UK, but only one fifth are owned by women. However, in the previous 12 months, Facebook had seen a 70 per cent rise in female entrepreneurs setting up business pages.
Agency Teneo Blue Rubicon polled 2,000 British women, and found that one in ten were thinking about setting up a business. The biggest obstacle was a lack of self-belief plus three in four failed to identify a female role model doing what they wanted to do.
Working with consultants Development Economics, it became clear what the impact of these female entrepreneurs could be. If just one fifth of potential female entrepreneurs were empowered to start, they would build more than 340,000 new businesses, create 425,000 jobs and contribute £10.1 billion to the UK economy by the end of 2025.
The #SheMeansBusiness campaign was launched to encourage more female entrepreneurs to set up and grow their businesses through a series of tools, available in a dedicated online hub, resources and support.
The campaign also fostered partnerships with the Federation of Small Businesses and the British Chambers of Commerce, and identified a selection of inspirational female entrepreneurs to share their experiences.
Prior to launch, Facebook held an exclusive dinner for influential policy makers, such as politicians Yvette Cooper and Rachel Reeves, and senior editors from publications including the Financial Times, Daily Telegraph and Red Magazine.
The launch was also spearheaded by Nicola Mendelsohn, vice president EMEA for Facebook, who featured in several broadcast interviews, while chief executive Sheryl Sandberg appeared on the cover of Stylist in a special takeover of the publication.
The campaign generated 28 pieces of coverage, while 12,000 people clicked through to the #SheMeansBusiness tutorials and courses. Almost eight million people saw the campaign on social media.