To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what further support the Government plans to provide to women who have received Government start-up loans to help them maintain their start-ups past the first year.
Our Industrial Strategy is about providing help and support for all individuals wishing to start and grow their own business, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity. The Government-backed British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme provides loans for people starting their own business. The Scheme started in 2012 and as at the end of September 2018, the Start Up Loans programme had lent £450m to more than 59,000 entrepreneurs.
Whilst our approach to business support is focused on advice and support for all, I am pleased to report that women account for 39% of the recipients of these loans, while 19% of existing SMEs are female-led. The Start-Up Loans scheme also provides comprehensive advice and support for those in receipt of loans, with teams of business advisors and mentoring support to guide people through the start-up process.