Women entrepreneurs could play a bigger role in the UK economy, creating jobs and boosting growth as well as reducing gender inequality, according to the findings of an independent report published on Monday 16 February. Business Secretary Vince Cable’s women in enterprise champion, Lorely Burt MP, published the report making a number of recommendations aimed at boosting the number of female entrepreneurs.
The report, ‘Inclusive Support for Women in Enterprise’, found that although the number of female-run small and medium-sized businesses has increased, there is still more to be done to close the gender gap between men and women.
The Government has reportedly already taken a number of steps to inspire and support women to set up and grow their own businesses, including the £1 million Women and Broadband Challenge Fund, a series of mentoring events and the Aspire Fund.
Last year UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) published a guide for first time exporters aimed at helping women expand into overseas markets. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Government Equalities Office have also launched a new research project to find new ways of reaching out to female entrepreneurs.
The Government will be writing to the 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships to remind them of the importance of representing the communities they operate in, with more diverse boards and supporting all businesses in their area.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “I appointed Lorely as ‘women in enterprise champion’ so she could build on the good work we’ve already done and help us increase entrepreneurial aspiration among women.
“Reaching our target of 25% women on FTSE 100 boards by 2015 is now in sight. The Government is committed to ensuring that talented women have the tools at hand whether it’s running a business on their own or heading up a corporate board.
“The evidence is clear - gender diversity delivers better business decisions which are vital to securing the future prosperity of the UK.”
A report called '100 women to watch' referring to The Female FTSE Board Report 2014, published by the Cranfield University, School of Management, has mentioned 4 women, who are of Asian origin. It includes, Tazim Essani, Bahija Jallal, Manveen Pam Kaur and Sharmila Nebhrajani.
Tazim Essani, who has extensive experience of managing large multicultural projects and diverse groups of people, joined Close Brothers in July 2009 as Group Head of Corporate Development with responsibility for strategy analysis, development initiatives and group acquisitions and disposals.
Bahija Jallal is a member of AstraZeneca’s Senior Executive Team and an Executive VP with MedImmune responsible for biologics research, development and clinical activities and is tasked with advancing the organisation’s pipeline of drugs targeting several medical areas.
Pam Kaur, a qualified Chartered Accountant, was appointed Group Head of Internal Audit of HSBC Holdings plc in April 2013. She is a Group Managing Director and a member of the Group Management Board. She also reports to the Risk and Audit Committees of the HSBC Holdings plc Board.
Sharmila Nebhrajani, who is currently the Chief Executive of the Association of Medical Research Charities, was Executive Director of Finance and performance for NHS Sussex before. She spent 12 years at the BBC where she was Chief Operating Officer and Finance Director of Future Media and Technology, managing the online business functions, including the launch of the iPlayer.