The Small Business Taskforce, of which Enterprise Nation is a member, is asking the next government to back small British businesses.

We are making six recommendations to deliver a more productive economy and fairer society. 

T he recommendations don't come with a big price tag attached, but they will mean better value for money, better policy decisions, and better support for small  business.

It is small firms that are best placed to build an economy that works for everyone, in all places of the UK. They need the support of the
winning government to achieve this.

In summary, the recommendations are:

1. Provide an environment which champions the role of small businesses

  • a. Recognise the positive and powerful role played by SMEs in the UK
  • b. Ensure ministerial commitment with appointment of a small business minister

2. Provide a taxation system supportive of all businesses, large and small

  • a. Commit to a stable and certain tax system that encourages business
  • investment and growth
  • b. Ensure that a digital tax system puts the need of businesses first
  • c. The tax system is far too complicated and needs radical simplification

3. Provide business support which is collaborative and adds value

  • a. Champion public/private partnerships
  • in business support
  • b. Launch Export Vouchers
  • c. Re-instate Spaces for Growth programme
  • d. Support the creation of a single site for SMEs

4. Provide a pensions and benefits system that supports when needed

  • a. Consider viability of pension enrolment for self-employed
  • b. Review impact of Universal Credit on start-up success

5. Provide procurement opportunities which work for all

  • a. Change government SME procurement target
  • b. Expand remit of the small business commissioner

6. Provide a workforce that’s equipped for enterprise

  • a. Expand provision of digital skills and basic skills in numeracy and literacy
  • b. Build entrepreneurship into the school curriculum 

For more detail on the recommendations download the full Small Business Manifesto below.

Fill out my online form.

The Small Business Taskforce collectively represent over two million small businesses. Together we are working to ensure the UK is the best place to start and grow a business.

Taskforce Logos 2

Have your say

Mark Neild
Mark Neild

This manifesto has two huge benefits. It is simple and it is relatively easy to implement. Specific comments as follows: 1. Government and big business neither respect nor understand SMEs. In part this is because big business has the spare capacity to influence policy and in part because the status of a director of a big company is perceived as higher even though their individual output is often far lower. 2. Good luck with this one. There is a vested interest in keeping tax complicated as it lines the pockets of highly paid tax advisors. 3. The nature of SMEs is that they tend to be generalists while large organisations have armies of specialists. A skills gap is inevitable. What most surprises me about much of the business support offered is that it ignores the biggest question "what is the process to make the most money from my resources?" 4b and 6 as above, there is very little evidence on what really works in enterprise education with far too much reliance on mentors and selective accelerators (despite Brookings Institute research that shows that "most accelerators add no value") My experience of working with entrepreneurs on 4 continents is that action learning delivers the highest impact. Sadly, too much academic research is far too esoteric to add much value to the pragmatic needs of SMEs 5. It is a difficult balance between the risk of suppliers with fewer resources and the far higher value, better responsiveness and agility that SMEs deliver. With a bit of work we could probably make a case to show that the current balance is wrong and actually destroys value. Crossrail seems to have been exemplary and offers a good case study.

Is there a mechanism to give evidence to the Small Business Taskforce?

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