Treasury investigates barriers for women in business

The Treasury has launched a review into barriers for women in business after research found that they are half as likely as men to be involved in starting a business, and only a third of entrepreneurs are female

The review will look at ways to help women start and grow a business by considering the drivers of the disparity in male and female entrepreneurship, and actions that could reduce barriers to female engagement in entrepreneurship. It will also identify the extent of these barriers and explore what can be done to overcome them.

Also to be considered will be any disparities between female-led and male-led firms seeking and receiving external finance, and what drives this, and will aim to identify examples of best-practice that investors and financial services firms seeking to avoid gender-bias in their investment decisions could adopt.

The review will be led by Alison Rose, who is chief executive of RBS commercial and private banking. The government will consider and respond to the findings of the review when it is published in the spring.

Robert Jenrick, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said: ‘The fact that Britain is home to so many new, innovative businesses is something to be proud of. But the fact that so few of them are started by women is shocking. This is not because of a lack of talent or appetite.

‘Therefore, it’s vital that we identify the barriers that are hampering entrepreneurial women from securing the backing that businessmen have taken for granted.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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