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Business Start-ups

Volume 555: debated on Thursday 20 December 2012

If women started businesses at the same rate as men start businesses, 150,000 extra businesses would start up in the UK each year, yet just 28% of those benefiting from the Government’s new enterprise allowance scheme are female. What Christmas present could the Minister give to women wanting to start businesses next year?

We are extremely proud of the sharp rise in the number of start-ups under this Government, but we want to do more and to go further. If, as the hon. Lady says, women started businesses at the same rate as men, the number would rise still more. We are helping through the new enterprise allowance. We have extended start-up loans, and some of the brilliant schemes—such as the Peter Jones academy—that help young entrepreneurs to know what it takes to start a business are already having an effect. We are making rapid progress, but I want to do much more.