40 British female entrepreneurs are receiving government backing to drive forward their innovations and business ideas.
Announced by Science Minister Amanda Solloway to mark International Women’s Day, 40 of the country’s top female innovators will be awarded a cash injection of £50,000 each, as well as bespoke mentoring, to scale up and bring to market their disruptive business ideas, many of which have been borne out in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Located right across the UK, from Scotland to Salisbury, business innovations receiving government backing include a company creating sustainable green interior furniture for the airline industry, an app to make emergency services more accessible for those suffering from domestic abuse and an innovative technology to help large organisations to manage and reduce their waste.
Speaking about the scheme, Science Minister Amanda Solloway said, “As we build back better from COVID, it is a priority of mine to continue equipping our brightest female innovators with the tools they need to succeed, while encouraging a new generation of women to come forward and pursue their ambitions.”
“Today we are supporting 40 of our most trailblazing female entrepreneurs, helping them to turn their innovative ideas and aspirations into a reality, creating the products and services that will help improve our lives and boost our economy.”
Among the entrepreneurs being backed include Lise Pape, founder of Walk with Path in London who is being backed to develop a first of its kind medical device – Path Feel – a smart insole which aims to improve mobility for older people suffering from chronic conditions such as Parkinson’s. The insole responds directly to pressure applied and vibrates to help the user feel the floor and balance, removing the reliance on canes and frames.
Today’s funding comes as it is announced that the number of female entrepreneurs has reached a five-year low.
Despite positive news that the number of female FTSE 350 directors has risen 50 per cent in five years, with women now accounting for 33 per cent of board positions, the percentage of female sole trader registrations has declined – from 31 per cent to 29 per cent – in the last four years.
The Age of Entrepreneurialism study by The Accountancy Partnership revealed that although there has been an overall increase in new businesses created in the past 12 months, this has not been reflected in the percentage of women registering as sole traders.
Women made up fewer than a third of sole trader registrations in the year-long period from 1st February 2020 – down a further two per cent on the previous year. The average percentage across all age groups for the previous four years was 31 per cent, and female registrations have always remained above 30 per cent.
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