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Venture Capital: Females

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what funding his Department is providing to support women’s venture capital initiatives in 2008-09; and what steps he is taking to increase access to venture capital for women's enterprise. (203667)

Enterprise Capital Funds (ECFs) are the Government’s principal equity fund intervention and are available to a diverse range of businesses, including women-owned and women-led businesses. In addition, the Government made a commitment in their recent Enterprise Strategy to provide £12.5 million of capital to set up a fund to invest equity finance primarily in women-led businesses, with the aim of securing up to a total of £25 million of investment by working in partnership with the private sector. Capital for Enterprise Limited, which manages the Department’s venture capital and loan activity, has been tasked with designing the fund and will invite proposals in the summer.

The fund is an integral part of a strong package of measures on women’s enterprise announced recently in the Government’s Enterprise Strategy. Those measures include provision for women’s business centre pilots; enhanced mentoring support; a new national enterprise centre of expertise; a media campaign and activity aimed at opening up procurement opportunities to women-owned businesses. More information on the Strategy is available at: