I welcomed Carwyn Jones' recent announcement that the new Welsh Government will move to introduce a new national development bank to improve access to finance for Welsh businesses.
A development bank for Wales would work in areas of market failure to add to the amount of finance small businesses can obtain from the private sector.
A national Welsh development bank would be a significant step forward in increasing the level of financial support available to Welsh businesses, and in particular the small businesses which play such a key role in local economies across Wales, including here in Newport. The creation of a national development bank for Wales - coupled with continued Welsh Government support and advice to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME's) through Business Wales and Finance Wales, and Welsh Labour's manifesto pledge to cut taxes for all small businesses in Wales - can only add to Wales and Newport's reputation as a great place to start up a business.
Chwarae Teg's call for more female-specific business support is also well worth looking at. Evidence shows that SME's led by women are less likely to use external finance than those run by men, and research from the Women's Business Council suggests that female entrepreneurs are more likely to have negative perceptions about their ability to access finance. This in itself can be an obstacle to setting up a business or microbusiness.