The Prime Minister wants to see more women enter work and launch their own businesses, harnessing the skills and qualifications of women who are currently out of work could deliver ‘economic benefits’ of between £15 billion to £21 billion a year, according to Prime Minister David Cameron.
In a speech given to promote the importance of entrepreneurialism in the UK and the need to encourage growth among small and medium-sized firms, Cameron emphasised how important women were to the economic success of Britain.
Currently there are about 690,000 majority women led small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, and they contribute £50 billion to the UK economy annually. Yet if the UK had the same level of entrepreneurship as the U.S, it would lead to another 600,000 female-run firms and contribute an additional estimated £42 billion a year.
There has been a rise in female self-employment since the recession began in 2008, with the number of women setting up to work for themselves rising faster than male self-employment. The Government says it is keen to get the message across that a business can be ‘started by anyone and comes in all shapes and sizes’.
As part of the drive to boost female entrepreneurship Home Secretary Theresa May recently announced that 5,000 volunteer mentors would be recruited and trained to provide support for women looking to start and grow their own business. This is in addition to the 11,000 business mentors currently available to entrepreneurs through the Government backed site mentorsme.co.uk
Theresa May also announced last week that the Government will establish a Women’s Business Council, to provide advice to Government on what it can do to maximise women’s contribution to future economic growth.
Further measures which have been introduced by this Government with the aim of helping women u work include an extension to childcare funding. In October it announced an additional £300 million for childcare support under Universal Credit. As of now, families will be able to recover childcare costs at 70 per cent – up to £175 for one child or £300 for two or more children per week. It is hoped that this will make it easier for women with families to work their chosen hours.
Source: Financial Mail Womens Forum