Today sees the second of the Lord Young’s reports in his capacity as the Prime Minister’s advisor on small business and enterprise. And we’re all over it. Whilst the first one (published May 2012) centred more on the trials and tribulations of setting up a business – as well as what could be done to make it easier for all involved– the second focusses more on growing a business. Buckle up; we’re giving you a whistle-stop tour of the key points, and what they’ll mean for you hearty, glorious entrepreneurs.
“If just half of the UK’s micro businesses (companies of 10 people or under) took on an additional member of staff, unemployment would be reduced to almost zero. We need to raise the aspirations and confidence of these businesses and give them the tools to grow.”
You certainly talk the talk, Lord Young. But considering we at Enternships are all about making sure our startups and SME’s have all the info they need, we better get down to the nitty gritty…
1. Small businesses are the future
First thing’s first – small businesses are where it’s at. Making up 95% of the private sector business stock, it’s clear that, now more than ever, we need to nurture our blossoming talent. With this in mind, Lord Young’s recommendation is to lift the age of the Start-Up loan scheme (which has already provided over 3,700 loans since launching in autumn), currently set at thirty years old. Not sure who it was that said ‘No-one has ideas past thirty, DAMMIT’, but whoever it was, they better pack their things.
2. Business Schools need to get involved
It looks like there’s a question looming over whether business school are doing enough to encourage local business growth – Lord Young has asked the Association of Business Schools to develop a new national ‘Supporting Small Business Charter’, to incentivise the growth of small companies.
3. £30 Million in Growth Vouchers to be introduced
To try and combat the number of road-blocks along the way to get a small business up and running, a £30 Million Growth Vouchers scheme is being launched; to find innovative ways of helps startups and SMEs overcome behavioural barriers to increasing growth. Areas the vouchers can help tackle will include; hiring a first employee, marketing, financial marketing and commercialising a site. Kitting you out with a pool table, probably not so much.
4. It’s time to open up procurement to small businesses
In order to help get SME’s increased access to business in local government and the public sector, it’s his recommendation that pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQ) be abolished on contracts under 200K euros. The current limit sits at 100K, so this would basically open out plenty more opportunities for small businesses, and create more of a ‘single market’ approach to bidding, advertising and recording contracts.
5. Targeted marketing of government schemes and private sector advice
With the shutting down of Business Link last year, it’s been difficult to know where best on the almighty gov.uk website to go to for top advice for start-ups and SME’s. It’s Lord Young’s opinion that we should open up the site to the private sector, letting companies post advice and help for those starting their own entrepreneurial journey, ensuring success stories get a chance to pass along their wisdom. In addition, he wants to see a real push in marketing for the government services and schemes currently available to small businesses – with a boost in the marketing budget, gearing towards letting SME’s know about what’s on offer.
Consider yourself knowledgable. Our CEO Rajeeb Dey is at Downing Street today for the launch – for live updates, follow him @rajdey
Natasha Hodgson, Enternships Community Manager