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Government under pressure to encourage female entrepreneurship

Government must encourage entrepreneurship among women and increase the number of female-owned businesses to help grow the economy, says the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

In its new report ‘Women in Business. Female entrepreneurship: creating growth and dispelling the myths’, the lobbying group calls on the government to learn from the US and other EU countries to promote female entrepreneurs.

The report highlights that female-owned businesses make up 29 per cent of self-employed people in the UK, despite women representing 46 per cent of the working economy.

FSB national chairman, John Walker, says the number of female entrepreneurs is ‘strikingly low’.

Says Walker, ‘The US has nurtured female entrepreneurship and now the UK needs to learn from them and do the same. By doing so it will help tackle high unemployment and cultivate an environment for growth.’

The organisation has put forward a number of recommendations in its report including offering female mentors through the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme and promoting women-specific business networks, forums and mentors through JobCentre Plus.

It also suggests endorsing alternative sources of finance to increase the growth potential of women-owned small businesses.

The FSB’s call to government comes ahead of International Women’s Day, which takes place on 8 March.