As we welcome a new Prime Minister into Downing Street, what do we think her priorities should be when it comes to business support?
There are 5.4 million SMEs in this country. They are being massively hit by rising prices, the aftermath of the Pandemic, uncertainty about trading in a post Brexit landscape and an increasing reliance on artificial intelligence to replace human activity in the workplace.
So here is the eight-point DNAsix business enterprise manifesto:
1. Appoint a minister who actually understands the needs of small and micro businesses.
2. Sort out the business support infrastructure in the UK. At present it is utterly fragmented and the majority of SMEs are completely unaware of where to get support, so they don’t.
3. To this end, we believe there should be one website, similar to HMRC or DVLA, where businesses can go for advice and support eg business.gov.uk
4. Ensure all businesses turning over less than £1 million per annum get up to three hours of free business support. It will pay for itself many times over.
5. At the same time, make it more difficult to set up a business. There are too many people who don’t have the knowledge, the capital, the drive or the necessary support network to succeed. This is why so many start-ups fail.
6. Don’t just focus on digital. Organisations need basic skills such as financial literacy, business planning and marketing. We live in a digital world, ergo all activities fall under this bracket.
7. Set up properly funded business partnerships across the country which include local authorities, business support organisations, the education sector, banks and tech companies such as Meta, Microsoft and Alphabet
8. Invest in the next generation of business owners. Our education system is geared for an older way of work. Entrepreneurship and financial management should be built into the National Curriculum from the earliest possible opportunity