At the Party Conferences this autumn the political parties will be shaping up their election manifestos for the general election in May 2015. Prowess Connect have also launched the Manifesto for Women in business.
The manifesto lists five key points which government can address to ensure that women in business are supported, funded, considered and represented.
Prowess Connect are calling on the political parties to shape meaningful policies in five areas:
- Leadership– Bold steps to improve the gender balance of business and political leadership.
- Skills – Tailored training and support to take the brakes off women’s enterprise.
- Childcare– A full review of maternity and childcare support for self-employed parents.
- Social security– An enabling social security safety net for the self-employed.
- Investment and funding– A fair share of government supported business investment.
Prowess Connect is a group of organisations and businesses that have come together to campaign and collaborate for a better deal for women in business. It is coordinated by Prowess, the UK centre for women in business.
Since the recession in 2008 there has been a growth in women setting up their own businesses. Many women are part of the micro economy – starting small scale enterprises from home – contributing to the economy and the rapid growth in home-based businesses. You are truly running kitchen table empires! However, without support many new businesses will not thrive.
Every day I meet dynamic and talented women who want to develop businesses but have little access to help, support or funding. That is not only talent that is not being used but also income that is not being generated!
To get support for the manifesto in my local area I organised two round tables with our local MP and our parliamentary candidate. Both have spoken to their business ministers and there is an awareness in government. Across the UK other members of Prowess Connect are pushing the message across the media and with their local politicians.
But the more voices that give the same message the more likely it will be heard.
So, if you are a women in business and you believe that change needs to happen, get behind the manifesto!
Ways you can be involved
Lobby your MP
Send them an email and attach the link to the manifesto – ask them what their party is intending to do for women in business
Sign up to Prowess Connect
Join in the debate on LinkedIn and contribute to the next steps for the manifesto.
Pledge your support
Head to the manifesto and pop your support in the comments underneath
Spread the word
If you are linked with other businesses, local government, chamber of commerce, networking group let them know about it and get them on board!
Use the hashtag
Make your support public by using the hashtag #InvestinWomen2015
I hope you will join the campaign and get your voice heard!
Yvette Ankrah is the Director of Ankrah Associates, a company that supports female-led small businesses to achieve their business dreams. One of her focuses is providing support to women struggling with their marketing as they build their empires from their kitchen tables! She is also the manager of the Mumpreneurs Networking Club, Harlow and Epping.