The government has unveiled a new campaign to recruit inspirational female entrepreneurs to encourage other woman to follow in their footsteps.
Industry minister Margaret Hodge announced the plans at a recent conference, explaining that each of the regional development agencies will aim to recruit 100 female entrepreneurs to lead the campaign.
The recruits will provide practical advice, encouragement and support to women looking to start their own business.
"We can't afford not to do this. There would be three quarters of a million more businesses in the UK if we matched US levels of female entrepreneurship. Successful women throughout the country can and must mentor and inspire many more women to think, 'Yes, I can do that' and take the confident plunge to start their own business," Ms Hodge said.
"This will lead to a new women's movement that will push back gender barriers and give women the confidence and support they need to start a business," she added.
A particular emphasis of the campaign will be on helping women who are at stages in their life that may discourage them from starting a business, such as just after having children or soon after their children leave home.