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New taskforce launches bid for 600,000 more female entrepreneurs by 2030

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Liz Truss, the minister for women and equalities, has launched a task force to increase the number of female entrepreneurs by 600,000 by 2030.

The group aims to improve the support available to female business owners as they scale their businesses and tackle barriers to investment, the government’s equalities office said.

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The task force will be chaired by Anne Boden, the founder and chief executive of Starling Bank, and other members include Poppy Gustafsson, co-founder and chief executive of the cybersecurity company Darktrace, June Angelides, investment manager at Samos Investments, and Emma Sinclair, founder and chief executive of the software company EnterpriseAlumni.

They will build on the work of the Rose Review, led by Alison Rose, chief executive of NatWest, which found that breaking down barriers faced by women entrepreneurs could boost the economy by £250 billion.

Analysis in March found that while a record number of women were starting businesses, but many were failing to grow significantly. The data, from the Gender Index, showed that women-led businesses had an average annual turnover of £1.3 million, compared with £3.1 million for male-led companies.

Truss, who combines her equalities role with being foreign secretary, said that women entrepreneurs had a “vital” role to play in the UK’s post-Covid economic recovery. “This country can only grasp its full potential by ensuring everyone, regardless of their background or where they live, has the opportunity to succeed,” she said.

Boden added: “More women than ever are starting new businesses and many of them are scaling up their companies. The task force aims to give women entrepreneurs the tools to take their businesses to the next level: access to finance and growth capital, technology adoption and leadership skills.”

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