To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support women in business in (a) Coventry North East constituency, (b) Coventry and (c) England.
26 April 2021
The Government has put in place a range of business measures that support all businesses, including those run by women. The Government loan schemes have provided a lifeline to thousands of businesses across the UK during the pandemic – helping them to survive and protecting millions of jobs.
Businesses have been supported in all regions through the Covid-19 pandemic via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). As of January 2021, the value of support given to businesses in the Coventry North East constituency regarding CBILS and BBLS is more than £65 million. Many of the businesses receiving this support will be led by women or employ women.
The Start Up Loans Programme, part of the Government-backed British Business Bank, offers loans up to £25,000, repayable at 6% per annum across 1-5 years. Across the UK, 81,608 loans have been made, worth over £707.6m between the programme’s launch in 2012 and the end of February 2021. Over the same period, in the Coventry North East constituency, 136 loans have been made worth £1,120,370. In the Coventry City Council area, 377 loans have been made to a value of £3,436,907. And in England 71,207 loans have been made worth 83,038. Of all Start Up Loans issued across the United Kingdom to January 2021, 40% of all loans went to women who make up 17% of the overall SME population. In 2021/22 Start Up Loans is expanding to 11,000 loans per year, which will further support women entrepreneurs.
This Government is also committed to supporting our entrepreneurs and this is why all the Government’s business finance schemes and COVID support schemes, are open to eligible businesses from all regions and backgrounds, including female entrepreneurs.
In addition, the Government’s business advice pages on GOV.UK also provide information and guidance relevant to starting, growing and maintaining a business which women can benefit from. All details can be found online: www.gov.uk/browse/business. The ‘Business Finance Finder’ also on GOV.UK is an online tool which firms can tailor by region and to suit the size and stage of their business and the type of finance needed: www.gov.uk/business-finance-support.
The Alison Rose review was an independent review of women entrepreneurs commissioned by government which shed renewed light on the barriers faced by women starting and growing businesses and identified ways of unlocking this untapped talent. In response, the government announced an ambition to increase the number of female entrepreneurs by half by 2030, equivalent to nearly 600,000 additional female entrepreneurs. The Rose Review report and government response set out the steps being taken by government and industry to help achieve this ambition. Over the past year, great progress has been made in delivering on the 8 initiatives of the Rose Review. HM Treasury has launched the Investing in Women Code. To date, the code has 22 signatories. NatWest launched a £1bn fund on 24th January 2020 to support female entrepreneurs. There is more to do and we look forward to continuing the work to deliver the 8 initiatives.