Enterprise Nation takes North of England entrepreneurs to Downing Street
Posted: Mon 21st Mar 2016
We recently took a group of entrepreneurs from the North of England to 10 Downing Street to meet Niamh Mulholland, business engagement manager in the prime minister's office.
The meeting was led by Ben Hawley, Enterprise Nation's head of the north.
Alongside Ben was:
Alan Hibbert, Buxton Pudding Co
Matt Hill, Union Street
Bridget McKone, TEK Marketing
David Hughes, Acorn Brewery
Sophie Jewett, York Cocoa House
Tristan Cowell, IC Innovations
Joe Carnell, UGOT
Sally Clark, Hatfield Clark
Kerri Hull, Teach You
Victoria Tomlinson, Northern Lights PR
Tracey Johnson, Barnsley Digital Media Centre
Hector Kolonas, Included
Darren Padget, Team Activ
John Sanderson, Pitstop Productions
Ryan Osborne, Osborne Technologies
Charlotte Scothern, Patchwork Pig
Rachel Johns, Made in the Valley and The Egg Factory
Joada Allen-Booth, Visualised IT
Andonette Wilkinson, CreativJam
Peter Wright, Digital Law UK
Darren Padget said the government needs to ensure we're not forgetting how to teach children to be entrepreneurial.
"Italians in Milan are drinking our bitter from Barnsley", said David Hughes. But he is reluctant to grow as he has to pay more duty. He called for the Treasury to consider a review of Progressive Beer Duty.
Peter Wright said businesses can't afford compliance so suggested that could there be a programme of digital vouchers to subsidise costs.
PR professional Victoria Tomlinson said the BBC should have a better understanding of business and asked whether the government can do anything about it and improve the image of how business is presented.
Joe Carnell asked whether the the money from the new sugar tax could go into giving rates relief for brands like his that offer low sugar alternatives
Hector Kolonas called on the government to offer a subsidy to help small businesses get into shared workspaces.
Tristan Cowell praised regional growth funding using which he bought his new office building.
Sophie Jewett said there was a lack of business support.
Sally Clark called for childcare expenses to be made tax deductible as a business expense.
Charlotte Scothern has benefited from Mary Portas Towns funding but referenced the difficulty of getting a mortgage and asked the government to call on the mortgage industry to make it easier for self employed.
Joada Allen-Both gave thanks to all the public sector programmes from which she has benefited but said there are lots of gaps as they stop and start.
Bridget McKone said her business is growing through Power Mums who work in between school hours. She asked if the government could shine a spotlight on them.
Rachel Johns is looking to plug in business support and mentoring into her company space, which could be helped by a programme such as Growth Vouchers.
Kerri Hull called on the government to endorse the creation of e-learning courses for starting and growing a business. It would deliver accredited qualifications for running a business which would be then used to get a mortgage etc.
Tracey Johnson said public sector bodies should be directing businesses to private sector providers.
John Sanderson asked whether the tax relief that's given to games developers could be extended to their service providers.
Matt Hill said due to the rising problem of empty properties on high streets the previous government allowed short term pop-ups and charitable companies to offer rates savings to landlords with empty buildings which lowered the barriers to accessing property and created innovative new pop-up projects. However, many landlords now simply store a few boxes owned by charities in their empty properties, resulting in them having no interest in the changes leaving many properties empty. Hill called on the government to update guidance and make it clear that companies falsifying occupation are committing fraud, and to claim rates savings, actual occupation is required.
Ben Hawley, Enterprise Nation's head of the north, said: "Being able to take these companies from across the North of England to Number 10 really shows that Enterprise Nation has a commitment to helping businesses from all over the country.
"The businesses that came down with us all had input on the meeting and really found the experience beneficial. More than one of the business owners have contacted me since the trip to say it really has inspired them to drive their company forward, and it seems that connections made at the event are already starting to bare fruit."
Great day visiting @number10gov with @e_nation representing small businesses in #Yorkshire thanks @Ben_Hawley1982 pic.twitter.com/DxQPsPSCYC
â€" PitStop Productions (@PitStopTweets) March 16, 2016
Thanks to @e_nation, we've been to No10 to talk about the needs of small businesses @RothTownCentre @brchamberuk pic.twitter.com/9vVIIqvyhi
â€" Patchwork Pig (@Patchwork_Pig) March 15, 2016
@downingstreet @e_nation @team_activ #entrepreneur #creativity #FitForLife pic.twitter.com/BEan69Wu4X
â€" Darren Padgett (@DarrenPadgett) March 15, 2016
Here's our Rach at No 10 sporting the new Egg handscreen printed tote bag with Yorkshire delegates thanks @e_nation pic.twitter.com/jIJX7TftEW
â€" The Egg Factory (@HebdenCoWorking) March 15, 2016
Really productive afternoon with companies from Yorkshire @Number10gov sharing success & what can be done to help. pic.twitter.com/SreiHtTLLy
â€" Ben Hawley (@Ben_Hawley1982) March 15, 2016