Small Firms Minister Nigel Griffiths announced the new strategy at the usiness Plan Awards 2003, a competition to encourage female start-ups, run by lifestyle website handbag.com. He set a target of matching the level of businesses started up by women in the USA, where half of all new ventures are female-led.
“I want to encourage more women to start up in business by ensuring that everyone with the ambition to start or grow a business is helped and supported,” said Griffiths.
It is the first of 7 planned stages as part of the larger Government ambition to “make the UK the best place to start and grow a business by 2005.”
It is not only would-be businesswomen who could benefit; the strategy is also aimed at increasing the number of entrepreneurs from ethnic minorities and so-called disadvantaged areas by making a wider network of support and advice available.
The Comprehensive Strategy for Start-Ups is comprised of several proposed strands, including a programme of local enterprise shows to encourage people to start up, developing a National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship for students and recent graduates, and a “pre-starts” brochure – a simple basic guide to the issues involved in setting up a business.