George highlights role of women entrrepreneurs in new business creation

George Freeman welcomes the creation of a record 500,000 new businesses started last year.

George Freeman (Mid Norfolk) (Con): What fiscal steps the Government are taking to support women who want to set up businesses. [902208]

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr George Osborne): The most important thing that we can do to support women in business is supporting the economy to grow. Today’s gross domestic product figures show that our economy grew by 0.7% in the last quarter, bringing four-quarter growth up to 2.8%. I am sure that that news will be welcome across the House. These numbers are a boost for the economic security of hard-working people. Growth is broadly based, with manufacturing growing fastest of all. It is more evidence that our long-term economic plan is working, but the job is not done, and it is clear that the biggest risk now to the recovery would be to abandon the plan that is delivering jobs and a brighter economic future.

George Freeman: May I congratulate the Chancellor on the appointment of Karren Brady as small business ambassador? Does he agree that our record of 500,000 new businesses started last year, bringing the total to 880,000 now run by women, and accelerating economic growth to 2.8% a year demonstrate that our long-term economic plan for an entrepreneurial recovery is working in the face of the pessimism and bankrupt business credibility of the Opposition?

Mr Osborne: My hon. Friend is right to draw attention to the remarkable success story of many women entrepreneurs. Karren is a role model for many of them, and she is helping with a mentoring programme to encourage more women to set up their own business and become entrepreneurs. It is all part of the picture where we now have a record number of women in work, and our proposals to bring in tax-free child care next year will help as well.

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