This Government is committed to ensuring that all businesses and business owners have the right support. There are now approximately 1.2 million women-led small and medium-sized businesses in the UK.
The Government’s assessment is that funding, both equity and debt, is widely available to support entrepreneurs regardless of their gender. The report Small Business Finance Markets 2017/18 published by the British Business Bank notes that the value of equity investment (up 79%), asset finance (up 12%) and peer-to-peer business lending (up 51%) used by smaller businesses all showed significant growth in 2017.
There are 38 Growth Hubs across England providing support to help businesses start-up and grow. The Business Support Helpline also provides information and guidance to people across England - 45% of users in 2015/16 were women.
The Government-backed British Business Bank’s Start-Up Loans provide funding and support to new entrepreneurs, of which 39% have been issued to women. The British Business Bank is also conducting research to identify ways to overcome the specific barriers faced by female-led Businesses in accessing Venture Capital. In collaboration with the Enterprise Research Centre they are gathering data from over 50 VC firms and are now commissioning behavioural research in this area.