Enterprise Nation goes back to Downing Street: The small business issues discussed

Enterprise Nation goes back to Downing Street: The small business issues discussed
Emma Jones
Emma JonesOfficial

Posted: Fri 22nd Jun 2018

In another monthly trip to 10 Downing Street where Enterprise Nation members and partners offer thoughts on how the UK can be a supportive environment to start and grow a business with the prime minster's business adviser, there were a several key takeaways. Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones reports.

The business owners attending were:

  • Ruth Clougherty, Gin & Yin Retreats

  • Fin Wycherley, Supersize Media

  • Catherine Bedford, Dashel Helmets

  • Matthew Reed, Equipsme

  • Jim Shaikh, Yoomi

  • Ruth Bradford, The Little Black & White Book Project

  • Simon Cox, Simon Cox Marketing Solutions

  • Katherine George, Oh So Social

  • Olga Kravchenko and Michael Vi Nguyen Truong, Memento

  • Ahmed Malik, Enlight FM

  • Temi Onifade, Maximite

  • Aaron Henriques, Handlr

  • Joanna Michaels,
    Beyond Social Buzz

  • Richard Tidswell, Business Doctors

  • Simon Alexander Ong

Selling to government

A young tech start-up attendee has a solution that could potentially interest the Home Office and MoD when it comes to protecting citizens but where do they start when it comes to finding the right contact?

This is where platforms such as Contractsfinder have a role to play, plus the importance of attending meet the buyer events.

Export support

An attending entrepreneur confirmed that the majority of his sales come from overseas markets, particularly China where his baby bottle product has a potential market of 18 million babies who are born each year!

What he's after is some form of Export Voucher scheme where his own funding can be matched with government money to spend on researching new markets (via programmes such as OMIS) and trade trips.

Workspace provision

A female entrepreneur outlined her situation of starting and growing the business from home, and now wanting to access workspace plus a supportive community. Hail the work of BCA which offer a database of space for any aspiring co-working space tenant or founder looking for full time office space.

Engineering excellence

A strong point was made by a company manufacturing in the UK which has struggled to find a manufacturing partner with the right level of engineering excellence to do the job. She referred to schemes in other countries where funds are available to support factories that don't have engineers, to partner with others to bring expertise in-house.

The next generation

This one comes up a good deal and focuses on creating the ideal conditions for younger entrepreneurs to start and thrive. Ideas include an animation to show just how much hard work has to be put into building a business, through to increasing the number of role models promoted.

Other areas covered included making health insurance for employees P11D exempt, looking at the success of skills programmes in Singapore, and the viability of zero rated VAT for businesses operating in the ethical trade.

It was another idea-packed and productive session.

Read more of the latest business news on Enterprise Nation

Emma Jones
Emma JonesOfficial
Following a degree in Law and Japanese, Emma joined international accounting firm Arthur Andersen, where she worked in London, Leeds and Manchester offices and set up the firm's Inward Investment practice that attracted overseas companies to locate in the UK. In 2000, bitten by the bug, Emma left the firm to start her first business, Techlocate. After 15 months, the company was successfully sold to Tenon plc. The experience of starting, growing and selling a business from a home base gave Emma the idea for Enterprise Nation which was launched in 2006 as the home business website. The company has since expanded to become a small business membership community of over 75,000 people who benefit from events and support: online and in person. Enterprise Nation also presents a campaigning voice to government and the media on behalf of its members. In 2021, Emma was awarded a CBE for services to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

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