ENCOURAGING more women to start their own firms is top of Mary Macleod ’s agenda after being appointed a small business ambassador.
The Brentford & Isleworth MP was one of 12 Conservatives chosen by Prime Minister David Cameron last Wednesday (June 5) to champion and support small companies across the UK.
Speaking to the Chronicle after her appointment, she said she was keen to encourage people - especially women, who are traditionally under-represented - to start their own businesses.
“If women in the UK were starting businesses at the same rate as men there would be an additional 150,000 start-ups each year in the UK,” she said. "I think there’s often a lack of confidence among women when it comes to starting their own business, but it’s a great option, especially for those looking for something flexible and part-time when they return to work after having children.”
As for established businesses, she said tackling red tape and helping them grow by increasing exports were among her targets, though she was keen to hear what businesses across London wanted.
Brentford & Isleworth already has one of the highest rates of business start-ups in the UK, with 590 new firms registered in 2011/12.
Mr Cameron said he had appointed Ms Macleod and other ‘business-savvy’ MPs to the role so they could listen to the business community and help the Government ‘continue to improve what we are already doing’.