The Government’s flagship start-up loans programme, delivered through the British Business Bank, has been instrumental in reducing access-to-finance barriers faced by all entrepreneurs, including those faced by female and minority entrepreneurs. Since the launch of the programme, around 40% of the loans issued, valued at approximately £320 million, went to female entrepreneurs. Black, Asian and ethnic minority businesses have received around 20% of the loans issued, valued at £160 million.
A record 140,000 women started their own business in the last year, but research shows that only 1% of venture capital funding goes to businesses led by women. Will my hon. Friend agree to meet me and the #overbeingunderfunded campaign, run by my constituents Sarah King and Claire Dunn, to discuss how we can better use Government schemes such as the seed enterprise investment scheme to address this inequality?
The seed enterprise investment scheme is one of three tax-advantaged venture capital schemes that provide tax incentives to individuals who invest in companies at various stages of growth. I am grateful to my hon. Friend for giving me the opportunity to talk about the world-leading generosity of this scheme. I will find out whether a Minister in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy or the Treasury is available to meet her and her constituents on this specific issue.