Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Labour has unveiled a strategy aimed at using the state-owned British Business Bank to provide funding for female-led businesses and tackle financial exclusion of women, contingent upon winning the next general election. These initiatives, revealed by shadow City minister Tulip Siddiq, are part of the party’s broader financial inclusion agenda, following a review of Labour’s financial services strategy by City experts earlier this year.

The plan includes setting targets for the British Business Bank (BBB) to allocate investment towards businesses led by women and ethnic minority founders. Additionally, the BBB will be required to issue reports on the diversity of funding applicants considered. Although specific funding targets are yet to be confirmed, recent data from a 2019 BBB report indicates a significant gap, with only 1% of venture capital investment in the UK directed towards companies founded by women.

Labour will announce these commitments at an event celebrating women in the City at the Association of British Insurers headquarters. Alongside funding targets, Labour pledges to initiate a comprehensive review of female financial exclusion. This review, chaired by a Treasury minister and involving various government departments, regulators, and City firms, aims to identify and address barriers hindering women’s financial participation and success.

Additionally, Labour has appointed prominent business leaders, including former Bank of England governor Mark Carney and Aviva’s chief executive Amanda Blanc, to advise on creating a national wealth fund, as reported by the Sunday Times.


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