Women are “Disadvantaged” in Business and deserve funding because they are women!

Well, Business Link East seems to think so.  They have women in a category of “Disadvantaged” and so they still qualify for Start up vouchers along with ethnic minorities, young people at risk, people over the age of 50, disabled, and long term unemployed*

So how do other people feel about this?

My personal view is that I would like to see any form of business funding being directed towards those businesses that are likely to grow and develop and employ other people regardless of age/sex/race etc or where it is means based in line with the business owners individual circumstances.

I’m sure it is unlikely to be an issue for long if vouchers get removed completely as other regional development agencies are already in a situation where they don’t offer any financial support to new starts.

But the point I am making in this blog is about why Women in particular are included in the “disadvantaged” category.

Surely it is wrong that a white male aged between 30-50 gets naff all funding under this scheme regardless of needs of the business and him as a business owner when it could just be the small boost that he needs to get his business off on the right footing and then go on and employ others as a result of that small amount of support.

And who makes these decisions anyway?  What are they based upon?

I certainly do not see myself as “disadvantaged” because I am a woman.  OK, I will admit that my parking is awful but it doesn’t hold me back in the business world!

Someone at Business Link said to me that this decision was because women have been very good at demonstrating and campaigning about their disadvantages in business because of difficulties around having children and this is why we have been recognised for extra funding.

I don’t get it.  I know I shouldn’t complain because I am lucky to be a disadvantaged woman (!) but honestly, what a complete load of codswollop!

Surely the right sort of mindset and mentality is needed to run a business regardless of age/sex/race and being a woman has zero influence.  It’s quite insulting really.

So what are your thoughts?

*This wording and description is approximate and exact criteria should be checked with Business Link directly.

  • Maxine


    I am coming round to your way of thinking on this! I do feel that those who need it most should get a boost financially if they really need it and where this is possible. If there is only a short pot of money I would rather it went to the most needy.

    That’s the principle but in translation it goes completely WRONG!

    I was telling a group of new start business women in Cambs about this fund recently and they all laughed their socks of at the mention of “disadvantaged” but will probably apply for it just because they can!


  • http://www.o4rb.com Bob Garbett


    It’s reassuring to know that even when under threat of extinction, Business Link continue to get it SO WRONG!!!

    Probably a simple typo…It should have said…”Cambridgeshire businesses are disadvantaged because we are mad!”

    It never ceases to amaze me that there should be any distinction between any business person when it comes to funding. Indeed you know my opinions on funding as a whole and this shows just how poorly managed these things are. It’s too complicated to be in the hands crazy folk”

    Just an opinion!

  • http://www.inheritanceprotect.co.uk Brian Williamson

    I agree with you Maxine.

    It is indeed insulting to women, and I think to men regardless of age. Such assistance would surely be better distributed on the basis of need and ability to make good use of it for the common good.

    Surely it is not so much a case of identifying particular groups as disadvantaged, but rather of recognising that any individual, or group of individuals who possess the right ideas, the appropriate skills, energy and will to succeed is automatically disadvantaged if unable lay hands on the right funding.

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