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Ruth Edwards MP backs women entrepreneurs organisation in West Bridgford

Ruth Edwards has facilitated a meeting between the Minister for Small Business Paul Scully MP, and Sarah King and Claire Dunn of We are Radikl, as part of her ongoing support for their “Over Being Underfunded” campaign.   

  

‘We are radikl’, was started by Sarah and Claire in 2018 to support women through courses, community and ‘the radiklist’ podcast to start and scale businesses with a particular focus on investment and funding. 

We are radikl specialise in the first 0-3 years of a business start-up which form the critical foundations for scalable, sustainable success.  

  

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Their ‘Over being underfunded’ campaign hopes to increase the presence of women investors in the U.K, by demystifying the process of investing and highlighting businesses which seek investment. The campaign has been featured in The Times, on ITV and on the BBC Politics Show.

  

The campaign has three main goals: firstly, to extend the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) deadline from two to three years from the start of trading. 

SEIS assists entrepreneurs by providing tax breaks to investors. This gives investors an incentive to invest in small, start-up businesses.

Over the course of the scheme, over £1 billion has been invested. The second ask is to introduce gender and ethnicity reporting on SEIS and the third, to redirect funding towards early-stage women entrepreneurs.

  

  

This campaign is important because only 1% of venture capital funding (and 3% of total funding) in the UK goes to businesses founded by all-female teams, and women start businesses with 53% less capital, on average, than men.

Women are also less likely to be aware of SEIS and are less likely to have an investor network to support them. These factors can make the scheme inaccessible to many women.

The two-year deadline (in which businesses are eligible for the scheme) can also prove to be a barrier for women entrepreneurs, as women are statistically more likely to have care commitments, so have less time to focus on their business.    

  

These barriers are detrimental to the wider economy as a Treasury review led by Alison Rose in 2019, estimated that up to £250 billion of new value could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled new businesses in the UK at the same rate as men.   

  

Minister Scully fully supported the spirit of the campaign, and it was clear that improving the access of women to capital investment was a huge priority for him. we are radikl were invited to follow up on the meeting with a proposal of how they could help shape the Government’s Enterprise Strategy.   

 

Sarah from We Are Radikl said: “Ruth’s support of the #overbeingunderfunded campaign has been transformative in raising awareness of our ask of Treasury to extend the SEIS application deadline from 2 years to 3 years.

“Ruth has worked alongside us to understand the experiences of early-stage women entrepreneurs and having raised the campaign in Parliament on International Women’s Day and via Women and Equalities Parliamentary questions we were delighted to this week have a meeting with the Minister for Small Business, Paul Scully. 

“We’re hugely grateful to Ruth for her support and feel hopeful for the changes we’ll create which will lead to greater equality and growth for the U.K. economy.”  

 

Ruth said “‘It’s important that the Government leads the way in designing investment schemes that meet the needs of women entrepreneurs. This is of huge importance if we want to grow our economy and I will continue to support we are radikl and women entrepreneurs. I am so glad that experienced female entrepreneurs like Sarah and Claire will be involved in shaping the Government’s new Enterprise Strategy.”  



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