Women are still facing ongoing challenges when starting and scaling up businesses in the UK, states a new report by the Treasury today.
However, a new digital hub, developed by everywoman, that has been created to empower the next generation of female entrepreneurs, could provide a solution.
everywoman – founded in 1999 and the largest female business network in the UK – has launched a new digital service which could potentially boost the UK economy by £221bn.
Supported by some of the country’s most successful businesswomen, the platform will allow aspiring women business owners to source relevant start-up support, while scale-up and growing businesses can access vital tools and resources – all on one centralised hub for the first time.
Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury said: “I am delighted to see everywoman launch their female entrepreneur’s Hub. The programme builds on the recommendations of the Rose Review, which we’ve published today, and will help achieve our goal of closing the entrepreneurial gender gap. We are setting a national ambition to increase the number of female entrepreneurs by 50% over the next 10 years.
“These entrepreneurs make a vital contribution to our economy. By harnessing their extensive experience, everywoman will not only help increase the number of women starting businesses but also accelerate the growth of these businesses – something we can all benefit from.”
To highlight the contribution women-led businesses already make to the British economy, and to tackle the current problem, the hub will be launched with a nationwide campaign that will see hundreds of female entrepreneurs sharing their professional success stories. The #ewselfmade campaign will be launched with one of the UK’s most admired self-made business owners, founder of Specsavers Dame Mary Perkins. Together with other high-profile female entrepreneur supporters that include Charlotte Tilbury, Cath Kidston and Carol Kane founder of boohoo.com, the campaign aims to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit in thousands more women in the next three years.
The resources found on the new platform will be offered free of charge, subsidised by #ewselfmade ambassadors including Dame Mary and everywoman partners, NatWest.
Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE co-founders of everywoman, said: “The impact that women could have on our economy shouldn’t be underestimated. Now is the time for action to get female-run businesses to scale up and fulfil their potential.
“From our 20 years of working with female entrepreneurs, we have heard, on countless occasions, how access to relatable role models plays a huge part in unlocking new breakthrough thinking. We know and have seen first-hand how they guide, motivate and encourage women to turn a business idea into a really successful reality.”