UK Government launches taskforce to boost women starting fast-growing companies

  • Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss, launches taskforce chaired by Anne Boden, CEO and founder of Starling Bank
  • Government aims to increase the number of female entrepreneurs by half by 2030
  • Launch follows package of initiatives to level up employment opportunities for women

Launching today, the taskforce will use its convening power to influence high growth investors, the wider business community, and to raise the aspirations of the next generation of female entrepreneurs, especially looking to encourage women based outside of the capital.

Only 1 in 3 UK entrepreneurs is a woman – a gender gap equivalent to 1.1 million missing businesses, and male-led SMEs are five times more likely to scale up to £1 million turnover than female-led SMEs.

Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss, said:

“This country can only grasp its full potential by ensuring everyone, regardless of their background or where they live, has the opportunity to succeed.

“We want women to be at the heart of the recovery effort, and we’ll do that by helping more women start a business, by getting them into higher paid work, by focusing on skills.”

Anne Boden, CEO and founder of Starling Bank said:

“More women than ever are starting new businesses and many of them are scaling-up their companies. The Taskforce aims to give women entrepreneurs the tools to take their businesses to the next level: access to finance and growth capital, technology adoption and leadership skills.

“The Taskforce’s work will provide a blueprint for all entrepreneurs to follow.”

The Chair, Anne Boden, and its members, will use their combined expertise and connections to work collaboratively with organisations across the UK to support the Government’s overall target of increasing the number of female entrepreneurs by half by 2030 (equivalent to nearly 600,000 female entrepreneurs) with a particular focus on driving change in the area of growth capital.

The taskforce will build on the work of the Rose Review, which found that breaking down the barriers for women entrepreneurs could boost the economy by £250bn. While there is encouraging evidence of a pipeline of innovative woman-led start-ups, more help is needed in supporting women in high-growth business.

Today’s launch follows a package of initiatives announced on International Women’s Day, to level up employment opportunities for women. This includes a pay transparency pilot to help businesses who want to go even further in attracting women to their companies. Evidence shows listing a salary range on a job advert and not asking applicants to disclose salary history provides a firm footing for women to negotiate pay on a fairer basis.

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