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Business Start-ups

Volume 649: debated on Thursday 15 November 2018

The Government-owned British Business Bank provides start-up loans for new entrepreneurs, and women account for 39% of recipients. The bank is also conducting a review into specific barriers female-led businesses face in accessing venture capital. All entrepreneurs in England can access advice and support from growth hubs and business support helplines, and 45% of the helpline users were women in 2017-18.

Will my hon. Friend welcome the work of the entrepreneur Alison Cork in setting up the Make It Your Business network to support women who want to start their own businesses, including a branch in my constituency, Chipping Barnet?

I welcome such initiatives that encourage and support women to start their own businesses, and I also appreciate the work of my right hon. Friend’s constituent Alison Cork. Connecting people and building networks is an important part of supporting entrepreneurs. That is why the Chancellor announced in the autumn Budget another £20 million to strengthen local networks.

Many women experience debilitating symptoms during the menopause, with 72% saying they feel completely unsupported at work during this time. Will the Minister meet me to discuss how we can make the necessary legislative changes so that these women feel supported?

The hon. Lady is a champion for all things around women, and I would be happy to meet her at some stage to talk about her particular concerns.