News story

Women crucial to economic growth

New support for women’s enterprise was announced by the government today, as part of the wider economic recovery plan.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

5,000 mentors for new and existing female entrepreneurs announced, as research shows women are only half as likely as men to be engaged in entrepreneurial activity.

This is just one of a broad package of measures the government has put in place to support women through the current economic challenges.

Women’s skills ‘worth billions’

Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Theresa May said: ‘For too long we have been overlooking the skills, experience and talents of women.

‘Better use of women’s skills could be worth billions of pounds to our economy each year so that is why this government is opening up more opportunities. This support package will help those who want to start or grow their own business.
‘This is real, practical help, at a time when we need to find new ways of boosting enterprise and growth.
‘This will be good for the economy and good for women.’

Recent research by Delta Economics shows women who want to start their own businesses often have specific concerns around issues such as access to finance, building confidence, work life balance and working from home. It shows women also have different motivations for starting businesses, different goals and different target markets to men, which is why mentors trained specifically to reflect the needs of women will be a valuable resource.

Women’s Business Council

The Home Secretary also announced today that the government will establish a Women’s Business Council, to provide advice to government on what it can do to maximise women’s contribution to future economic growth.

The announcement follows a wide-ranging consultation the government has carried out with women to ensure their voices are being listened to and are informing government policy. 

Published 4 November 2011