Rishi Sunak promises action to boost number of female entrepreneurs

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The Chancellor said he wants the UK to become a nation of entrepreneurs “regardless of gender” and insisted there needs to be more women running businesses. Mr Sunak’s remarks came as he gave his backing to a new parliamentary report calling for the government to do more to encourage women to start or run their own businesses.

Speaking at the launch event Mr Sunak said: “I want this country to be known around the world where the most accomplished ideas develop the most exciting technology and turn those into the most innovative high growth businesses and that should be true regardless of gender.

“We are never going to achieve our vision if we are missing out on the talent, creativity and hard work of half our country’s population.

“This isn’t just the right thing to do, it is the economic necessary thing to do.”

The Chancellor referenced a review by NatWest CEO, Alison Rose, which found that if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men some £250billion of new values could be added to the economy.

Mr Sunak added that efforts over the past six years had seen the average female representation on executive positions rise from 14 percent to 22 percent and on boards from 23 percent to 32 percent.

“Real tangible progress,” he said, adding “but of course there is so much more to do.”

Among many recommendations the report, published by the Women and Enterprise All-Party Parliamentary Group, urges the government to consider the creation of women’s business centres and expand careers guidance and enterprise education to support girls.

Conservative MP Craig Tracey, chair of the APPG on Women and Enterprise, said: “Female entrepreneurs and the businesses that they found make a huge contribution to our economy, but the reality is that the UK has consistently failed to support women to start, run and grow businesses at the same rate as men which has led to significant economic consequences.”

He added: “There is no better time, either economically or politically, to finally put enterprise at the heart of our education system, ensuring that everyone can get the skills and opportunities that they need to contribute to our economic recovery.”

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