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 Group 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.
I am delighted to be a signatory to this briefing paper and look forward to taking this agenda forward
You can read the full briefing paper here