History of The Women's Enterprise Task Force in the UK

History of The Women's Enterprise Task Force

The Women's Enterprise Task Force (WETF) was established as a national body championing women's enterprise.  It was set up by Gordon Brown to increase the quantity, scalability and success of women-owned businesses in the UK.

It focussed its work on five key areas in order to achieve a strong pipeline of high growth, women-led businesses: gender-disaggregated data, women-friendly business support, access to finance, supplier diversity and strategic influencing.

Despite women's businesses making up just 15% of UK business stock, women's enterprise already contributes c. £130 billion turnover and c. £70 billion gross value added (GVA) p.a. to the UK economy.  Imagine what women entrepreneurs could do if they were enabled to participate in enterprise at the same rate as their male counterparts.

Pam Alexander, co-Chair, WETF and Chief Executive, South East England Development Agency (SEEDA)

Glenda Stone, co-Chair, WETF and Chief Executive, Aurora

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Feminism

Associations and Support Networks

The FWSA supports a wide range of feminist and gender-based activist initiatives. They have hosted activist speakers and panels at our annual conferences; for example an activist roundtable workshop on women’s services under recession at our 2012 conference.

This included speakers from an equalities role in the Workers Educational Association, the Nottingham Women’s Centre and the National Institute for Adult Continuing Education. The 2013 conference was dedicated to the feminist study of political activism across the globe, and included speakers from Australian Women Against Violence Alliance, Women Living Under Muslim Laws and Women’s Studies Without Walls.

The Feminist Library was founded in February 1975 and known as the Women's Research & Resources Centre (WRRC), changing its name in 1983. It was to be a place for women researchers to meet, to answer enquiries about feminism, to hold seminars where women could talk about their work and to collect materials that women were writing.

Over the years the library has had many homes. It started in one small room in North Gower Street until May 1977, at which time it's residence was in Clerkenwell Close.  In 1979, space was again at a premium and the WRRC moved to rooms above Sisterwrite in Islington. By the middle of 1982 it had outgrown this space and Hungerford House on the Embankment was proposed as a new home. With GLC funding, WRRC took up residence there in May 1983, paying a peppercorn rent of £1.

Unfortunately, like many other women's groups, the library was a victim of the abolition of the GLC in 1986. Even before it moved into Hungerford House there were insecurities about what would happen after this change. The centre had great trouble getting an appropriate lease from the GLC. As soon as the change in the funding structure had settled down, security of tenure at Hungerford House became the most urgent issue.

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