Budding female entrepreneurs are set to benefit from superfast broadband with a new £1m challenge fund, enabling them to work effectively, access new markets and grow their business online.
Visiting Google’s Campus for Mums in Shoreditch, Minister for Women Nicky Morgan said:
There are thousands of women running some amazing small businesses all over the UK but they still make up just a fifth of all small businesses.
As part of our long-term economic plan for Britain we are determined to do everything we can to support women to start-up businesses and create more jobs and opportunities for hardworking people.
This fund will give women the practical help needed to get their businesses on-line and take advantage of superfast broadband. This will include online mentors, business clubs and training courses so that women all over the county can benefit from the kinds of help Campus for Mums is giving.
The fund will be part of the Government’s Superfast Broadband rollout and will help women take full advantage of all the opportunities superfast broadband can bring to business. There are 40 local broadband projects in England, already delivering the programme and they will be invited to submit bids to the £1m challenge fund in May 2014.
This forms part of help the Government is already providing to female entrepreneurs, which includes:
- £1.6 million to support women’s enterprise in rural areas;
- access to over 15,000 free business mentors; and
- from next year, the introduction of Tax Free Childcare will mean that, for the first time, many self-employed parents will have access to support with childcare costs.
Where to access help
The Small Business: GREAT Ambition campaign is making it easier for new and existing businesses to get access to the advice and support they need through its Business is GREAT website. As part of their plans to improve its service, they want to hear from small businesses about whether the site works for them or what improvements they would like to see.
Female entrepreneurs can also take advantage of a 50% contribution of up to £2k from the Growth Voucher programme to pay for help with accounting or marketing advice.