Westminster Business Forum

Supporting new businesses to start and scale-up in the UK

Morning, Wednesday, 9th October 2019

Central London

THIS EVENT IS CPD CERTIFIED



This seminar will focus on the priorities for policy if the Government is to achieve its aim - set out in the Industrial Strategy - of making ‘the UK the best place to start and grow a business’.  


It follows the findings of the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship and the Government’s announcement of a new review aiming to investigate obstacles and propose solutions to support enterprising young people from all backgrounds to set up their own business; as well as a recent announcement of £200m government support through the British Business Bank’s venture capital and growth finance funding partners for innovative, high growth businesses.


The conference will discuss what more entrepreneurs need from government to help build an environment where small businesses can thrive - including issues relating to access to finance, IP registration, taxation, business support such as Growth Hubs - and what more needs to be done to encourage potential entrepreneurs to start a business in the UK.


Sessions will examine the recommendations of the Rose Review which called for the finance industry to improve transparency around investment decisions and pledge to better support female-led start-ups as well as introducing new products which aid entrepreneurs with caring responsibilities. Delegates will discuss how the sector responds and the next steps for policy as the Government’s formal response set itself a new target of the increasing the number of female entrepreneurs by half by 2030.


With the Stace Review on barriers preventing young people from starting up a business due to report in summer, the conference will be a timely opportunity to consider that review’s recommendations - in particular how to improve support for prospective entrepreneurs from low-income and other disadvantaged backgrounds. The state of enterprise education in schools and colleges will also be discussed, in light of the Rose Review’s call for the business community to increase the resources available to education providers to teach about starting a business and the role that universities play as incubators for student and graduate entrepreneurs - and how this role might be expanded - will also be explored.


The practical steps that LEPs, careers guidance providers, local authorities and other bodies can take to provide support and mentoring for start-ups will also be discussed, in light of the roll-out of LEP-led Growth Hubs and the Rose Review’s call to expand existing networking platforms to improve the reach and impact of mentoring nationwide.


Delegates will also discuss the extent to which the growth of the social enterprise movement is having an impact in increasing the attractiveness of starting a business to a wider pool of prospective entrepreneurs than traditional business models would have done so and consider how awareness of social enterprise as an option can be grown.


Further sessions will address the challenge of improving access to finance both for start-ups and scale-ups, including the impact so far of Start-Up Loans and the British Business Bank’s funds for scale-ups as well as the wider current landscape for start-up finance such as accelerator schemes, business angels and crowd-funding. What more can be done to increase early stage finance will be central to discussion as well the and the support entrepreneurs need to enable them to choose the right type of investor, make sure they have the right amount of finance at the right time and know what investors are looking for in a start-up business.


The conference will also provide an opportunity to discuss how policymakers and the business community can address wider issues affecting start-up and scale-ups in the UK including issues relating to access to property, taxation, IP and other legal compliance considerations, becoming an employer as well as identifying and addressing the most high risk points for businesses seeking to scale-up.



Keynote Speakers

Alice Hu Wagner

Managing Director, Strategy, Economics and Business Development, British Business Bank

Alison Rose

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, NatWest Holdings; Chief Executive Officer, Commercial & Private Banking, RBS and Lead, Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship

Emma Jones

Founder, Enterprise Nation and Co-Chair, Prime Minister’s Small Business, Scale Ups and Entrepreneurs Council

Keynote Speakers

Alison Rose

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, NatWest Holdings; Chief Executive Officer, Commercial & Private Banking, RBS and Lead, Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship

Emma Jones

Founder, Enterprise Nation and Co-Chair, Prime Minister’s Small Business, Scale Ups and Entrepreneurs Council

Alice Hu Wagner

Managing Director, Strategy, Economics and Business Development, British Business Bank

Chairs

Lord Bilimoria

Chairman, Cobra Beer Partnership and Officer, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship

Rachel MacLean MP

Vice Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship

Speakers

Dr Harveen Chugh

Senior Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurship, Business School, Imperial College London

Kath Senior

Director, EcoStardust

Gary Stewart

Director, Wayra

Eitan Jankelewitz

Partner, Sheridans

Colin Bell

Business Growth Director, North East LEP

Juliet Rogan

Head of High Growth & Entrepreneurs, Barclays