Yesterday, in Women and Equalities Oral Parliamentary Questions, local MP Dame Caroline Dinenage asked Minister Chloe Smith MP what steps her department is taking with Cabinet colleagues to help support female entrepreneurs.
As a former Women and Equalities Minister, and a current member of the Women and Equalities Committee, Caroline continues to advocate for further support for women and girls.
Caroline has long campaigned for measures to inspire female entrepreneurs and support women in business, having run her own business for 20 years prior to becoming an MP. During her role as Minister of Women and Equalities 2015-2017 Caroline championed getting more women on boards and introduced legislation on Gender Pay Gap reporting. She also hosted an event for International Women’s Day, aimed at encouraging more women to get start and grow their own businesses.
Caroline asked the Minister:
“The fact is if women were starting and scaling businesses at the same rate as men, it would add a staggering, £250 billion to the UK economy. We need to turbo charge the investment and support we are giving to female entrepreneurship. What thought have they given to pivoting some of the existing financial packages such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme, to better support women led enterprise?”
Responding, the Minister Chloe Smith said:
“Mr Speaker the Enterprise and Investment Scheme has specific objectives – it is designed to encourage investment in higher risk, early stage companies. But the Government is committed to supporting women entrepreneurs in a range of ways, as highlighted, for example, by the implementation of recommendations from the Rose Review.
“I’d be happy to ask a colleague of mine to discuss the issue further with her.”
Caroline has highlighted this issue a number of times in the House of Commons. She will continue working to ensure support is in place for those who need it.