Women's enterprise: the 'secret weapon' for recovery of UK economy?

Already female-led businesses contribute more than £75 billion to the economy - and their role in growing the economy, and creating and sustaining new jobs, is crucial to recovery and growth.

But despite this level of activity, women are too often invisible within the business arena, and at a time when many businesses are struggling to survive and grow, there is a danger that the progress made to date will falter. The ‘multi-billion £ opportunity’ which growth from women-owned enterprises can bring to the economy may not be realised.

In a government survey published in June 20111 , two-thirds of female employers want to grow their businesses over the next two to three years. If even half that number achieved modest growth, and created a new job, the economy would receive a £5bn boost and the creation of more than 240,000 extra jobs.

The Women’s Enterprise Policy Group2 is calling for more support and advocacy from Government to make this happen. In a briefing paper going out in advance of the Labour and Conservative Party conferences, the Group is asking for:

  • More business growth support for existing entrepreneurs
  • A women's enterprise Government champion within BIS or the Treasury
  • A charter to ensure more women-led businesses are included in public and private sector procurement
  • Support from Local Enterprise Partnerships to promote women's enterprise in their economic development strategies
  • As long as women remain under-represented in enterprise through lack of practical support, the government is wasting a multi-billion pound opportunity to grow the economy.

    For copies of the Briefing Paper and press enquiries:
    E: j.troon@btinternet.com
    M: 07718 955267

    1 Annual Small Business Survey 2010, BIS

    2 A UK-based group representing entrepreneurs, networks, corporates and business representative organisations

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