MIKE ASHLEY – Reveals plans to leave Sports Direct and take over Debenhams

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Just one in three entrepreneurs in the UK is female and closing the gender gap could generate an extra £250bn for the economy, a government review has found.

The disparity in women-run firms represents more than a million “missing businesses”, according to the Treasury-commissioned report.

It also found businesses run by women are on average half the size of male-led firms and far less likely to scale up to a £1m turnover.

In response to the review, carried out by Alison Rose, deputy chief executive of NatWest, banks and other lenders are being encouraged to publish what proportion of investment goes to female entrepreneurs.

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