This seminar brought together key policymakers and stakeholders to examine 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’.
A major focus for the morning was what more needs to be done to encourage potential entrepreneurs to start a business in the UK.
Keynote sessions assessed policy priorities for government; priorities for policymakers to support small business; tapping into the unrealised potential of female entrepreneurs; financial support for start-ups and scale-ups; and fostering an enterprise culture in the next generation.
Further sessions examined the recommendations of The Alison Rose Review and delegates discussed the Government’s formal response and how it aims to achieve its target of increasing the number of female entrepreneurs by half by 2030.
With the Youth Entrepreneurship Review on barriers preventing young people from starting up a business due to report in November, the conference was a timely opportunity to consider the Review’s possible recommendations - in particular how to improve support for prospective entrepreneurs from low-income and other disadvantaged backgrounds.
Delegates also examined the state of enterprise education in schools and colleges and how the role that universities play as incubators for student and graduate entrepreneurs might be expanded.
We had discussion on the growth of the social enterprise movement and its impact on engaging a wider pool of prospective entrepreneurs than are currently attracted by traditional business models - as well as how awareness of social enterprise as an option can be grown.
Further sessions addressed 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.
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