Women at the heart of plans for economic growth
- Published on Friday, 04 November 2011 14:10
- Posted by Scott Buckler
New support for women's enterprise was announced by the government today as part of the wider economic recovery plan.Funding will provide 5,000 mentors for new and existing female entrepreneurs 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.
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.
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.
One of the key findings was that women felt there was a need for greater flexibility from employers, which the government will address by extending flexible working to all employees and by allowing parents to choose how best to share their parental leave after having a baby.
Source: Home Office