The Investing in Women Code was recently launched at a Downing Street event. Why is the Code necessary, and so important to small businesses?
Women’s contributions and barriers to business
A recent report revealed that women are increasingly 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 £105bn to the UK economy.
Yet, a Treasury-commissioned independent study into the challenges facing the UK’s female entrepreneurs found that only one in three of the UK’s entrepreneurs are women. Female-led businesses are, on average, half the size of those run by men, with many facing barriers especially in accessing finance.
The study authored by Alison Rose, Deputy CEO for NatWest pushes the need for action is even greater than the need for awareness.
“The reaction from industry and the commitment that so many leading institutions have already shown towards the code has been fantastic and encouraging, and this is just the beginning.”
Many financial institutions have already signed on to the scheme, including the big high street banks.
A code for good practice and support
The Investing in Women Code encourages its signatories to support women entrepreneurs by helping them to access the necessary resources, funding and advice to build and maintain a business.
The Code commits organisations to promoting female entrepreneurship by:
- Having a nominated member of the senior leadership team who will be responsible for supporting equality in access to finance
- Increasing the transparency of financial services firms’ data concerning support for female entrepreneurs
- Adopting internal practices to improve the outlook for female entrepreneurs
HM Treasury will publish the first annual report on the Investing in Women Code in Autumn 2020 and welcomes interest in the Investing in Women Code from organisations of any type and size. For more information, read the full Code here.