HC Deb 01 April 2004 vol 419 c1599W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to reduce the gap between male and female self-employment rates. [163311]

Nigel Griffiths

The Government's Strategic Framework for Women's Enterprise is working through key strategic partners in the regions, in particular, the Regional Development Agencies, the Business Link network and a number of women's enterprise organisations.

All 45 Business Link operators have women's enterprise as a key delivery theme for their activity.

We are encouraged by the findings on women's enterprise of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor's most recent report, which states that the levels of female entrepreneurship in the UK rose from around 600,000 in 2002 to around 700,000 in 2003 and that female attitudes to start-up have become far more positive during the last year.