The Future of the Economy: SMEs to the Rescue?
Small Business News – 17th February 2009
All Party Parliamentary Group discusses UK Small Businesses in the 21st Century
Doug Richard, entrepreneur and former ‘Dragon’ from Dragons’ Den, attended ACCA’s (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) All Party Parliamentary Small Business Group (APPSBG) recently to discuss the ‘future of small businesses in the UK in the 21st Century’.
At the meeting, Mr Richard said SMEs can significantly help rescue the UK from its current recession. He argued that Britain must quickly become the entrepreneurial, innovative country it once was by encouraging self-employment.
Doug Richard described the two recent ‘lost generations’ – people in late 40s and 50s who have lost their jobs and may never find work again and people who are leaving university now and cannot find work. He suggested that the solution lies in teaching the skills necessary to become self-employed, as SMEs are the engine of growth in economies.
Professor Francis Chittenden, of University of Manchester and ACCA’s professor of small business finance, agreed that the UK must restore its previous entrepreneurial attitude because there is an urgent need for innovative new businesses to replace traditional forms of employment. Professor Chittenden said that Manchester Business School is already doing work to promote entrepreneurialism through the Manchester Enterprise Centre, the University of Manchester’s three incubators, its science park and two venture capital funds.
Mr Richard warned that the UK has clearly entered a recession, and that any attempts to stimulate a recovery cannot have a meaningful impact for at least six months. He believes that Britain needs to focus on fostering entrepreneurial growth even in the midst of the recession.