St Albans businesswoman calls in Euro MP over gender discrimination

PUBLISHED: 19:30 26 January 2016

Local business owner Sajida Kamraan speaks to MEP Richard Howitt about her struggles in setting up her ktichen table baking business

Local business owner Sajida Kamraan speaks to MEP Richard Howitt about her struggles in setting up her ktichen table baking business

Archant

Single mother and budding entrepreneur Sajida Hussain sat around the kitchen table with her local Euro MP on Friday to talk about the problems facing women in business.

Sajida, a mother of three, runs Butterfly Cakes, a kitchen table baking business, from her home in Puddingstone Drive, St Albans, and has been frustrated by how difficult it has been for her to get a business loan and make ends meet.

She sat down for a chat with Euro MP Richard Howitt recently because as the lead member of the European Parliament for ethical business he is spearheading calls for tougher laws after research found women faced discrimination in accessing finance and were less able to receive bank support than men.

Mr Howitt has previously campaigned for women’s rights in business including reducing the gender pay and pension gap and for more transparency on corporate pay.

Sajida said: “I am a low income earner and receive working tax credits, but I have a popular and viable business that I would love to grow.

“But I need someone to have some faith in me and give me the opportunity to repay a bank loan over a period of three to five years so I can invest in equipment and supplies.”

She added: “I need people to see that I exist.”

Mr Howitt agreed that there were too many obstacles for women when it came to accessing finance from banks or lenders and support for childcare. While European laws forbade discrimination when it came to bank loans, he said there was evidence of indirect discrimination and stigma.

He added: “Entrepreneurs are vital for creating jobs, yet too few of those who are self-employed are women.

“Many women become entrepreneurs out of necessity as it allows them to combine work while caring for their children and those women who take a leap of faith say entrepreneurship makes it easier to work from home.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Herts Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Herts Advertiser