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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 March 2006, 11:22 GMT
Campaign to boost business women
Business woman
Only one in three businesses in the region is set up by a woman
Business women are discussing their impact on east England's economy at a special conference in Newmarket.

They are also studying ways to overcome the barriers they believe are stifling their ability to grow businesses.

Opinion formers, banks, and government organisations are attending the East of England Development Agency's (EEDA) Women's Enterprise day.

The event is designed to help them to understand their own roles in helping women to succeed in business.

Business women from throughout the East are also attending to showcase their work and explain what has worked or failed for them in the past.

There are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of women in our region who have the talent and skills to plan, develop and run successful companies
David Marlow

The conference is part of a programme set up by EEDA called "One vision, One voice" to help shape a national policy to increase the numbers of women in business.

Only one in three businesses founded in the counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk is set up by a woman.

David Marlow, EEDA chief executive, said: "It is a great pity that the number of businesses set up by women in the East of England is so low when compared to men or the successes experienced by other countries.

"There are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of women in our region who have the talent and skills to plan, develop and run successful companies.

"I believe the work which is about to begin will provide mainstream and specialist support to a group which has the potential to make a massive contribution to our economy."


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