Posted: Mon 3rd Oct 2022
A politician who previously ran his own leadership training company has been appointed as the new minister for enterprise by prime minister Liz Truss.
Dean Russell, MP for Watford, replaces Jane Hunt. She held the role, then called minister for small business, for around two months after being given the job by former leader Boris Johnson during his caretaker government in July.
According to his website and LinkedIn profile, Russell got a physics and business studies degree at university, worked in senior roles for PR companies and started his own business advice and training company, Epifny Consulting.
He is also an author, having written a business book called 'How to Win: The Ultimate Professional Pitch Guide' and four titles for children including 'Mouse and the Moon Made of Cheese'. In addition, Russell worked as a start-up mentor for London & Partners.
Writing on Twitter, Dean Russell said:
"It's an honour to have been appointed Minister for Enterprise and Markets @beisgovuk. Businesses are the beating heart of the UK economy - and my focus will be to help them grow.
"We're already making good on our promise to cut taxes & reduce the burden on business through the Growth Plan. We must also help businesses access the finance they need and remove regulatory barriers that stifle innovation & growth. That's one of my top priorities.
"I will continue to champion our innovative and hardworking small business community ensuring they have a voice at the heart of government. I also look forward to working with @Jacob_Rees_Mogg and @MartinCallanan to ensure we seize the opportunities of Brexit.
"I am determined to do my part to make the UK the best place to start and grow a business. I look forward to discussing this as I meet with businesses of all sizes all over the country in the coming weeks and months."
Responding to Russell's appointment, Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones said:
"It is good to see that the minister responsible for enterprise is a former entrepreneur.
"Dean Russell will intimately know the issues small firms face and that they need a strong advocate in the corridors of power, especially in this unsettling economic backdrop. Small firms need to feel confident they have his backing.
"A key element of the government’s support for small businesses is Help to Grow, which is what businesses need right now. We will continue to work with the government to ensure small businesses gain access to voluntary mentors as we have seen first-hand the power of good mentors and advisers and how they can help a business not just survive, but thrive.
"Now is the time to double down on that message and ensure that every small business that has growth ambitions can access this comprehensive support."
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is now led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, who was appointed as business secretary on 6 September.
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said:
"We worked with Jacob Rees-Mogg very recently on our report about procurement and he supported our call for the government to increase the amount it spends directly with small businesses.
"He knows the issues small firms face and we hope he can get things done to ensure they can get access to more public sector contracts, get paid on time and feel confident that they have his backing. We look forward to working with him to make sure that start-ups and small businesses access the support they need to survive the current challenges."
Introducing our Ministers' portfolios, focused on:— Dept for BEIS (@beisgovuk) October 3, 2022
✅driving cleaner, cheaper, homegrown energy
✅backing business & long-term growth
✅stimulating investment & innovationhttps://t.co/lUI90wBMaP@Jacob_Rees_Mogg @grahamstuart @JackieDP @Nus_Ghani @MartinCallanan @dean4watford pic.twitter.com/pjfqY6POA5