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113/08

30 October 2008

£500,000 to support women's enterprise

The first ever national Women’s Prowess Policy Centre (PNPC) will be launched by the Government today at a reception at Number 11 Downing Street.

The new policy centre which is receiving over £500,000 of funding from the Department for Business is the first of its kind in Europe and will act as a ‘one-stop’ shop for the latest in women’s enterprise-related research and policy.

The PNPC will drive up the number of female entrepreneurs in the UK by promoting best practice and raising awareness and understanding of women’s entrepreneurship across Government, the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), Financial Institutions and Multi-National Corporations.

Support for the centre follows on from a commitment made by the Government in its Enterprise Strategy in March, to further promote and support the development of women’s enterprise.

Minister for Competitiveness and Small Business, Shriti Vadera said:

“There are 20% more people in enterprise in the US than in Britain, and the majority of that gap is made up of women. Getting more women entrepreneurs is an economic issue not just an equality issue. If we were to match US levels of women's enterprise there would be 900,000 new businesses in the UK.

“There is a wealth of untapped talent and economic opportunity that could significantly boost the economy in these uncertain times. The Prowess National Policy Centre marks the Government's strong commitment to support women in business”

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP said:

"Boosting women's enterprise will be a major plus for the economy - that's why we are increasing Government support.  The establishment of the Prowess National Policy Centre is a milestone in the development of women's enterprise, providing a focal point for research and a centre of expertise in policy"

Notes for editors

1. The Centre will be co-located in Birmingham and London and is managed by Prowess. 

2. The Prowess National Policy Centre (PNPC) is receiving £540,000 of funding from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) to March 2009. No decision has yet been taken on whether further funding will be provided for the period 2009/10 and beyond. Ultimately, the Prowess National Policy Centre (PNPC) will need to become self-funding.

3. The Prowess National Policy Centre (PNPC) is to be managed by Prowess www.prowesspolicycentre.org.uk. Prowess is a UK-wide advocacy network that supports the growth of women's business ownership, through the development of an effective women-friendly business support infrastructure and enterprise culture. They achieve this by raising awareness, providing capacity building support to organisations which provide enterprise support services and by lobbying and advocacy at national, regional, European and local levels.

4. The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform helps UK business succeed in an increasingly competitive world.  It promotes business growth and a strong enterprise economy, leads the better regulation agenda and champions free and fair markets. It is the shareholder in a number of Government-owned assets.

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