Truss picks Starling founder Boden to lead female entrepreneurship taskforce

Anne Boden, the founder of digital lender Starling, will chair a taskforce set up by Liz Truss, the minister for women and equalities.

Liz Truss, the equalities minister and foreign secretary, has picked the founder of one of Britain's most prominent banking start-ups to lead a review aimed at bolstering female entrepreneurship.

Sky News has learnt that Ms Truss, who was appointed to the women and equalities brief in 2019, will announce the formation of a new taskforce in the coming weeks.

City sources said it would be chaired by Anne Boden, the founder of Starling Bank.

Details of the taskforce's remit were unclear on Tuesday, although a person close to it said its focus was expected to be on ways to encourage more women to start businesses in the UK regions outside London.

It is also likely to promote an age-agnostic approach to the issue, the person said, reflecting the fact that Ms Boden was aged 54 when she launched Starling.

The digital bank was recently valued at £2.5bn after its latest fundraising, making it one of the UK's most valuable fintech start-up businesses.

It is likely to consider a stock market listing in the next few years.

A Whitehall source said a number of other prominent businesswomen would join the taskforce.

Ms Truss's taskforce is being set up in the wake of a review led by Alison Rose, the NatWest Group chief executive, whose report in 2019 calculated that £250bn in economic value could be created if women started and scaled businesses at the same rate as men.

The Cabinet Office has been contacted for comment, while Starling Bank declined to comment.