Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today highlighted the importance of female entrepreneurs to the Northern Ireland economy.
The Minister attended a networking event in Belfast, organised by Women in Business NI. There she urged more women to establish new businesses and seek out new opportunities for existing female-led companies.
The Minister said: “During the three year period 2005-2008, over 4,000 women started a business here, as a direct result of Invest NI's Start a Business programme.
“While that is 45% of the start-ups from the programme for this period, the level of female entrepreneurship in Northern Ireland, in general, is still low and is in fact the lowest of all the UK regions.
“There is therefore still much to be done to encourage more women to both start a business and to grow an existing business.
“Networking events such as this today can encourage females to share best practice in starting up companies as well as improving business efficiency and sales and marketing techniques, to help increase profitability, competitiveness and export capability.”
Women in Business NI Limited has approximately 250 members and aims to support and empower new and established women-owned businesses, through networking, primarily in the Greater Belfast area.