Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage promoted the case for greater female entrepreneurship today in a Westminster Hall debate.
A recently published report on gender diversity in Britain's financial sector promptedparliamentarians from across the political spectrum to come together and voice their concerns at the lack of opportunities for women in enterprise.
Among the top FTSE 250 companies only 7% have women Chief Executives and over half have no female board members at all. Caroline said “with UK women making over 70% of household purchasing decisions, they surely know what the market wants. So why are inspiring businesswomen too few and far between?”
Local MP Caroline spoke from her own experience about the difficulties she faced as a small business owner. Aside from winning over potential investors and family members alike, she emphasised that “convincing yourself that you are capable of succeeding” was the most pressing issue that many women experienced.
In light of these obstacles, Caroline emphasised the importance of providing female business owners with a high-quality support network. She highlighted the success of the AWESOME business networking group for female entrepreneurs in her Gosport constituency, through which groups of like-minded women have come together to discuss their entrepreneurial ambitions, get advice and support from other successful business women, and take the “next step” in their professional endeavours.
Caroline said “By bringing female entrepreneurs together, as ‘Awesome’ have in Gosport, you create a network of moral support which allows a woman’s true passion for her business to shine though. Successful businesswomen can also get involved to offer advice and inspire confidence in those starting out. We should seek to develop a network of these groups across the UK, to ensure that in every constituency women are getting the support they need to succeed.”