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Two chairs to provide double boost for Women's Enterprise

Date 16 Nov 2006
Author The Editor

Small Business Minister Margaret Hodge gave a double boost for Women's Enterprise this week as she announced not one, but two, Chairs to lead a new task force aimed at encouraging more women across the country to start a business. Glenda Stone, chief executive of Aurora and Pam Alexander, chief executive of the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), will jointly lead the Task Force championing female enterprise.

Speaking on Women's Enterprise Day (14 November), during Enterprise Week, Margaret Hodge said: "I have deliberately appointed two Chairs to the Task Force for Women's Enterprise to provide both business and delivery expertise. Pam and Glenda will provide the leadership and can-do attitude required to accelerate the growth in women's enterprise. "The objective for the Task Force is to take the UK further towards US levels of entrepreneurship - if we matched these levels it is estimated there would be at least 700,000 more businesses in the UK."

Top of the agenda for the Task Force is the need to assess the impact of the regional economic strategies in increasing women's enterprise rates and analysing results from regional Women's Enterprise Unit pilots. The task force will work with all nine regional development agencies (RDAs) to ensure that lessons learnt from the pilots are reflected in delivery.

Glenda Stone said: "Accelerating the quality and quantity of women's enterprise in the UK is of significant economic importance. Building a pipeline of female-founded seed, start-up and expansion businesses attracts diverse investment and positively contributes to the economy through creating employment and wealth. The Task Force is clearly welcomed by both the private sector and business women themselves."

A new compilation of research out this week shows that UK rates of women's enterprise are good when compared to a group of five nations - USA, Canada, France, Germany and Ireland. This comparison found that the UK female self-employment rate of 7.8 per cent lies just above the average of 7.6 per cent. However the UK is well behind female entrepreneurial rates in the US and the Task Force is tasked with making the UK one of the best places in the world for women to start and run successful businesses.

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