Professor Germaine Greer will add her confrontational voice to the call by Prowess, the women's enterprise network, for more female entrepreneurs to lead us out of recession. Ms Greer, speaking at the Prowess international conference in Blackpool this week, will also back its campaign urging the Government to put more pressure on banks to help businesses by extending and renewing overdrafts and other facilities.
Prowess, run by Erika Watson, says that a recent poll of its 350 member organisations shows a 40 per cent rise in enquiries for business advice, even though most women's businesses have well-managed debt or no debt.
However, it adds that the downturn in availability of finance is already having a devastating effect.
On a more positive note, Ms Watson says new research shows that women are at their most entrepreneurial in times of economic change.
"They led the diversification of the rural economy over the past 20 years and they will do it again."