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1000-strong network to boost women's enterprise

Date 8 Feb 2007
Author The Editor

One thousand female entrepreneurs will be recruited to help and inspire more women to set up their own business, Industry and Regions Minister Margaret Hodge announced this week. This army of businesswomen activists will provide a national network of women helping women across the country and will work with the new Task Force for Women's Enterprise. The 1000 strong network will be recruited by the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) advised by Enterprise Insight, with each RDA asked to recruit over 100 entrepreneurs.

Margaret Hodge said: "We can't afford not to do this. There would be three quarters of a million more businesses in the UK if we matched US levels of female entrepreneurship. Successful women throughout the country can and must mentor and inspire many more women to think: 'yes I can do that' and take the confident plunge to start their own business. "This will lead to a new women's movement that will push back gender barriers and give women the confidence and support they need to start a business."

Enterprise Insight has already recruited thirty ambassadors for the new women's enterprise network.

Kevin Steele, Chief Executive of Enterprise Insight and the Make Your Mark campaign, said: "We are looking forward to working with the RDAs to advise on their recruitment of this country-wide network of inspirational business women. These ambassadors for women's enterprise will help generate more self-belief among women to start a business, and provide the culture change needed to boost the rates of entrepreneurship in the UK."

Margaret Hodge also announced that later this year a new support programme for women who have graduated from a UK university within the past 10 years and are thinking about starting a business will be launched. The programme, to be run by the National Council of Graduate Entrepreneurship, will assist women graduates to turn their business ideas into reality, with sustained support provided over a twelve-month period.

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