The Telegraph’s Women Mean Business Campaign marks one year anniversary

8 March 2019

Anniversary coincides with the publication of the Government’s ‘Rose Review’  inspired by The Telegraph’s campaign

Friday March 8.  One year on from the launch of The Telegraph’s Women Mean Business Campaign, the findings of a government review sparked by this campaign have been published.  

The Telegraph’s Women in Business campaign launched in March 2018 on International Women’s Day, with the signing of an open letter from 200 female founders and inspirational leaders which called on the Government to take action to close the funding gap that prevents women from starting their own business.  

Just 24 hours after The Telegraph launched its campaign, the Government announced a serious review into the issue, the findings of which  were published on September 21. The Government went on to commission an independent review into the challenges facing women starting and growing their own enterprises, led by Alison Rose, Chief Executive of RBS Commercial and Private Banking.  The findings of this were published today.

The Telegraph has spoken to Alison Rose about her findings, in an interview published in a special Women Mean Business supplement published today to mark the anniversary of the campaign.

The ‘Rose review’ estimates up to £250bn of new value could be added to the UK economy if women start and scale businesses at the same rate as men and proposes a number of measures to support female entrepreneurs. These include the creation of a taskforce to raise funds for business, an entrepreneur advisory board to drive investment and support toward female entrepreneurs and a “one-stop-shop digital platform, a go-to place where entrepreneurs can go to get help”.  It also calls for a code of practice to be drawn up which commits finance providers to treating female entrepreneurs fairly and encourages transparency.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Rose said that the Women Mean Business campaign has been “a really helpful stimulus” in raising awareness of the challenge – and the opportunity. “Every business is assessed on its own merit but the more you shine the light on the issue, as you have done, the more you make the intervention tailored and create specialists that understand the challenges, the more you can help.’

Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Women and Equalities told The Telegraph: ‘The Telegraph’s brilliant Women Mean Business campaign has been calling out venture capital investors for not funding female start-ups, which has seen positive results; it led to Alison Rose’s review into the barriers facing female entrepreneurs which has been published today’.

Victoria Harper, Features Director at The Telegraph said: “I am very proud of what we have achieved so far in raising the important issue of a funding gap for very capable female entrepreneurs. I look forward to watching how the recommendations from this review come to life and potentially change the lives of many female founders, who currently feel thwarted. By levelling the playing field for them in access to support and finance, they and the country will benefit by seeing their businesses thrive.”


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