About the Women’s Enterprise Task Force

The Task Force was set up to support the Government in increasing the quantity, success and scalability of women’s enterprise in the UK.  The Task Force has now come to the end of its three year term.


The Task Force was announced in November 2006 and met for the first time in February 2007, providing “thought leadership” on this important enterprise agenda to the Government and to the private sector.

The Task Force had co-chairs drawn from the public and private sectors; Pam Alexander, Chief Executive South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), and Dr Glenda Stone, Chief Executive of Aurora.  It reported to Lord Davies, Minister for Trade, Investment and Small Business at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The Women’s Enterprise Task Force has:

  • Successfully advocated for the establishment of the Aspire Women’s Co-Investment Fund
  • Successfully advocated for the disaggregation of Business Link data
  • Initiated procurement-readiness road-shows for Women-Owned Businesses, in conjunction with the Ethnic Minority Business Task Force (EMBTF)
  • Advocated for Women’s Investment Readiness
  • Supported the creation of a Women’s Enterprise Procurement Programme called WEConnect
  • Helped to increase the profile of women’s enterprise in the media
  • Provided input into the Government’s Business Support Simplification Programme to ensure a female-friendly approach to delivery


Enterprise: Unlocking the UK’s Talent

The Enterprise Strategy, published by the Department for Business in March 2008, set out a package of measures for women’s enterprise, a great step forward for women’s enterprise in the UK; in many cases a reflection of the effort invested by the Women’s Enterprise Task Force Members working with partners and the Regional Development Agencies.


The Task Force was not a delivery body.  Its role was guiding and focusing action across the public and private sector to increase the quantity, scalability and success of women owned businesses in the UK.  To achieve this, the Task Force set out to:

  • Advise central Government, Regional Development Agencies, Devolved Administrations and the Private Sector on how the economic contribution of women’s enterprise can be increased in the UK
  • Identify issues and barriers to more women starting and growing their businesses and how they might be addressed
  • Provide Advocacy; the members of the Task Force will lobby and raise the profile of the women’s enterprise agenda individually and collectively.

The Task Force used measurements of the following in order to report on Government’s success in increasing:

  • The Gross Value Added (GVA) contribution to the UK economy by women owned businesses
  • The number of women owned businesses in the UK
  • The average turnover of women owned businesses
  • Total Entrepreneurship Activity