Commitment to increasing the number of female entrepreneurs stepped up by FSB

Press Releases 17 Jul 2019

FSB Business Banking service (provided by The Co-operative Bank) is one of the first signatories of the Investing in Women Code

  • FSB Business Banking one of the first signatories of the new Investing in Women Code
  • FSB research finds 40% increase in UK economic contribution and a 26% increase in employment generated by women owned businesses.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has taken a further step in its commitment to supporting an increase in women in enterprise as its FSB Business Banking service (provided by The Co-operative Bank) was one of the first signatories of the Investing in Women Code, launched last night (16 July) at a reception in Downing Street.

The new Code represents an important commitment to supporting female entrepreneurship in the UK by improving women’s access to the advice, resources and finance needed to build a business, with many banks and venture capital firms signalling their support.

This comes after a recent FSB report revealed that women are increasingly becoming the job creators and growth drivers within enterprise. The report, ‘Supporting Women’s Enterprise in the UK: The Economic Case’, shows that women owned businesses now contribute a staggering £105bn to the UK economy (analysing data from 2012 – 2015). Despite this, women still face a number of barriers to entrepreneurship, a significant one of which is access to finance, according to FSB research.

Julie Lilley, Chief Executive at FSB, said: “Developing and supporting women’s enterprise is critically important for the UK’s economic prosperity and, as an organisation we’re walking the talk on this. Increasing access to finance for women entrepreneurs is key. For FSB Business Banking to be one of the founding signatories of the Investing in Women Code is another step in the right direction.”

The Investing in Women Code comes after an independent review – commissioned by the Treasury and headed up by Alison Rose, Deputy CEO of NatWest – identified barriers faced by female entrepreneurs and what could be done to overcome them. The Rose Review found that only one in three entrepreneurs are women, and that businesses run by women are on average half the size of firms led by men.

Notes to editor

  1. The FSB report Supporting Women in Enterprise in the UK: The Economic Case was published in November 2018. The report was authored by Women’s Enterprise Scotland and staff from the University of Portsmouth and the University of South Wales, which drew on an analysis of the most recent available data (2015) by staff from the University of Portsmouth.
  2. The Investing in Women Code is a commitment by financial services firms to improving female entrepreneurs’ access to tools, resources and finance.
  3. FSB Business Banking is exclusive to FSB members and is provided by The Co-operative Bank. It gives members free everyday business banking with a number of features valued by small business owners.

About FSB

As the UK’s largest business support group, FSB is the voice of the UK’s small businesses and the self-employed. Established over 40 years ago to help its members succeed in business, FSB is a non-profit making and non-party political organisation that’s led by its members, for its members. As the UK’s leading business campaigner, FSB is focused on delivering change which supports smaller businesses to grow and succeed.

FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including access to finance, business banking, legal advice and support along with a powerful voice in Government. Each year FSB also runs the UK’s Celebrating Small Business Awards. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk. You can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy and on Instagram @fsb_uk.

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