This week we resumed monthly visits to 10 Downing Street to meet the prime minister's business adviser, Jimmy McLoughlin, and offer Enterprise Nation members an opportunity to air views on the UK enterprise environment. They didn't take much cajoling to speak!

Enterprise Nation's community membership manager Sophie Arnold attended the meeting and reports on what happened.    

Enterprise Nation members selling everything from social media training to hot chocolate, baby work-out gear and accountancy services joined the session which covered a variety of topics. 

The members who attended were:

Entrepreneurship education and skills

This was one of the biggest talking points. Kriss Baird pointed out the lack of entrepreneurship training in formal education and that there are many options available to learn crafts but not to learn how to turn those crafts into a business.

Amber Atherton built on this further by suggesting that entrepreneurship be built into the national curriculum.

Training for entrepreneurs 

Krupa Suthar brought up the importance of ongoing training for entrepreneurs and suggested a skill swap scheme which allows entrepreneurs to provide pro-bono work for good causes in return for training subsidies.

June Angelides added that large corporates could make places available on their existing internal schemes for worthy entrepreneurs.

Natasha Courtney-Smith, an accredited Facebook trainer on the She Means Business programme welcomed the work of large corporates such as Facebook and Amazon who have built platforms to hugely enable enterprise and are now fulfilling an obligation to train people on how to use the platforms!

Paul Durrant pointed out that the government has a similar responsibility around the introduction of the new GDPR regulations.

Generation connect 

Another popular concept was skill swapping across generations.

Stephanie Onwunali, a coach working with young professionals, outlined that different generations need distinct kinds of support.

For example, the younger generation are more IT and social media literate but may need more support on the soft skills the older generation excel at.

Daryll Bannon put forward the suggestion of a scheme which paired an experienced older person with younger entrepreneurs. 

Trade and SME procurement 

Denise Rawls raised the emerging opportunities for SMEs in the African market and how the government might be able to support this.

Vern Hill pointed out how difficult it can be for SMEs to become recommended partners to large government institutions such as the NHS, suggesting a database and accreditation scheme which would allow GPs to recommend with confidence.

Taken together, this was a group of entrepreneurs that are as keen to see the next generation thrive, as they are to develop their own skills.

Many of the suggestions and recommendations made would be well suited to the private sector, with government purely playing the role of facilitator and enabler. Watch this space! 

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