New Businesses: Females

Women and Equalities written question – answered on 16th January 2015.

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Photo of Philip Hollobone Philip Hollobone Conservative, Kettering

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she is taking with other Government departments to support and encourage women entrepreneurs.

Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Education) (Women and Equalities) , The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

There are more women-led businesses than ever before. In 2013 990,000 SMEs were either run by women or by a team that was over 50% female, an increase of nearly 140,000 since 2010. But we know more needs to be done, which is why we are working with other Government Departments to increase the number of women who start and grow their own businesses.

We have, for example, recently created a new ‘Women in Enterprise’ web page with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and as part of our Great Business campaign are specifically targeting female entrepreneurs so they are aware of what Government and other organisations have to offer. We have also provided £1.6m to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to encourage more women in rural areas to start and grow their own businesses and have provided £1m to fund the Women in Broadband Challenge Fund to support women to move their businesses online.

Women are also benefiting from the full range of business support available from government, including Start-Up Loans where 37% of lending has gone to women.

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