Government to launch 25 million fund for Womens Enterprise
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Date: 19 Nov 2008
The Government will today launch the Aspire Fund - a £25 million investment
fund for women-led businesses - to be jointly funded by the Government and
Shriti Vadera, Minister for Economic Competitiveness and Small Business, will
launch the fund at the Everywoman Conference on Women's Enterprise Day (19
November), which is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
The Aspire Investment Fund is the first of its kind and will receive over
£12.5 million in funding from the Department for Business to be matched by a
further £12.5 million from private sector investment.
The fund will act as a beacon to encourage women with businesses to seek
appropriate equity finance and will also demonstrate to the business community
what investment opportunities already exist from businesses being run by women.
The Fund will be accessed via Business Link and managed by Capital for
Enterprise Limited. The fund follows on from a commitment made in the
Government's Enterprise Strategy to further promote and support the development
of women's enterprise. The fund is aimed at high growth businesses seeking an
investment of between £100,000 and £2 million to help finance growth.
Minister for Economic Competitiveness and Small Business, Shriti Vadera said:
"There are 20% more people in enterprise in the US than in Britain, and the
majority of that gap is made up of women. Getting more women entrepreneurs is an
economic issue not just an equality issue. If we were to match US levels of
women's enterprise there would be 900,000 new businesses in the UK.
"There is a wealth of untapped talent and economic opportunity that could
significantly boost the economy in these uncertain times. The Women's Investment
Fund marks the Government's strong commitment to support women in business".
Co-Chairs of the Women's Enterprise Task Force (WETF), Pam Alexander and
Glenda Stone added:
"The Women's Enterprise Task Force welcomes the launch of the Aspire Fund,
which will help address a key funding gap for women entrepreneurs. As co-chairs
of the Task Force, we look forward to working closely with BERR and CfEL to make
this fund a success and to build on existing initiatives supporting women
1. Businesses interested in finding out more about risk capital funding and how
to access it will be able to contact their local Business Link who can signpost
them to appropriate provision.
2. The Aspire Fund forms part of a range of measures to promote women's
enterprise that were included in the Government's new Enterprise Strategy -
"Enterprise: unlocking the UK's talent" - published in March this year. These
include the provision of women's business centre pilots, a new national centre
of expertise for women's enterprise, and activity aimed at opening up
procurement opportunities to women-owned businesses. A copy of the strategy is
available at http://www.berr.gov.uk
3. Business Link can be accessed via
http://www.BusinessLink.gov.uk or through the Business Link Helpline on 0845
4. The Women's Enterprise Task Force advises Government on the development of
women's enterprise policy and delivery. Its membership is drawn from the private
public, private and third sectors. The co-Chairs are Pam Alexander (CEO, SEEDA)
and Glenda Stone (CEO, Aurora). More information on the Women's Enterprise Task
Force can be found on
5. The Aspire Fund will contain an important component of support, guidance
and investment readiness assistance to help strengthen the funding propositions
from women entrepreneurs. Working through a network of investment readiness
providers and programmes, women entrepreneurs will be directed to the fund's
6. Pam Alexander is co-Chair of the Women's Enterprise Task Force (WETF) and
Chief Executive of the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA).
7. Glenda Stone is co-Chair of the Women's Enterprise Task Force WETF and
Chief Executive of Aurora.
8. Everywoman was Founded in September 1999, everywoman Ltd is the UK's
leading provider of training, resources and support services for women in
business, thought leaders in women's business development and promoters of women
in business and gender diversity. Its mission is to Inspire Women to Excel.
Everywoman works to increase the number, and raise the status, of women in the
UK economy, using their experience and expertise to help women achieve their
aspirations and realise their business ambitions. everywoman delivers
conferences and events, awards programmes, training and leadership programmes.
It developed the UK's first, and largest, online resource for women business
which now has over 34,000 members.
Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform
7th Floor, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET
Public enquiries +44 (0)20 7215 5000
Textphone +44 (0)20 7215 6740 (for those with hearing impairment)
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BERR- Department
for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform replacing DTI - Department for
Trade and Industry. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-11-19 11:55:54 in Business Articles