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Finance sector backs plans to increase British female entrepreneurs

Major banks and venture capital firms have signalled their support for the government’s plans to increase the number of British female entrepreneurs.

Finance sector backs plans to increase British female entrepreneurs
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • July 18, 2019
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Plans to increase the number of British female entrepreneurs by half have taken a leap forward, with major banks and venture capital firms signalling their support.

Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, Santander, TSB, Metro Bank, the Co-operative Bank, Nationwide and Bank of Ireland UK have all signed up to the Investing in Women Code, alongside venture capital firms Frontline, Episode 1, and Angel networks UK Business Angel Association, Angel Academe, and British Business Bank.

The Investing in Women Code is a commitment to support female entrepreneurship in the UK by improving women’s access to the advice, resources and finance needed to build a business.

It was prompted by an independent review, commissioned by the Treasury and headed up by Alison Rose, deputy CEO of NatWest, which identified barriers faced by female entrepreneurs and what could be done to overcome them.

The Rose review found that only one in three entrepreneurs are women, and that businesses run by women are on average half the size of firms led by men.

“Breaking down gender barriers could add billions to the UK economy. I’m pleased to see so many of our major banks and venture capital firms support the code, and I call on others to follow suit,” the Exchequer Secretary Robert Jenrick said.

Boosting female entrepreneurship is vital to the future of the country’s economic growth, Ian Rand, CEO of Barclays Business Banking said.

“Barclays is committed to ensuring we offer all the support we can to those starting and scaling their businesses.

“We’re delighted to be a founding signatory of the Investing in Women Code and look forward to our continued partnership as we work together to address some of the challenges facing female entrepreneurs,” said Mr Rand.

According to the managing director of external affairs at UK Finance, the Code builds on a number of important initiatives already underway that are helping to provide access to the right tools, resources and funding to all entrepreneurs.

“UK Finance will continue to work closely with the industry to support this important initiative,” Ms Rebecca Park said.

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