Enter the Alliance of Entrepreneurs
When a journalist wrote a few weeks ago that what entrepreneurs needed was a pressure group of their own, who’d have thought that within 6 weeks there’d be an Alliance of Entrepreneurs?
On October 8th, journalist Alister Heath wrote that whilst doctors, accountants, farmers and teachers had unions, pressure groups and professional bodies to fight for their corner, the British entrepreneur had no voice to represent them.
Within the week, Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation and supporter of is4profit’s Get Britain Growing initiative, responded that this union or pressure already exists but that it is split across various groups and has no unified voice.
Emma Jones pointed out that the groups that already exist included Enterprise Nation’s very own monthly visits to Downing Street as well as her involvement in StartUp Britain plus other representatives of the small busienss community such as the Federation of Small Businesses, the Forum of Private Business, Doug Richard’s School for StartUps and the Centre for Entrepreneurs.
The founder of Enterprise Nation figured out that these bodies represented around 380,000 business owners, a great figure but still only 8% of the small business in the UK. Emma Jones’ next move was to write to all the aforementioned organisations.
On Monday, Emma Jones and Alister Heath had written an open letter from an "Alliance of Entrepreneurs" to the Nation’s Media, which read:
Today is the first day of Global Entrepreneurship Week – the world’s largest campaign to promote entrepreneurship. To mark the occasion, we have come together to create the Entrepreneurs’ Alliance: a pressure group to stand up for Britain’s wealth creators.
Together we represent more than 2.5m small and micro businesses. We are pooling our power and understanding of the small business community to remove the obstacles constructed by an economy too focused on the demands of big business.
Entrepreneurs have proved to be the lifeblood of this recovery: the number of VAT-registered businesses is already back to pre-2008 levels, start-up rates are at an all-time high and bankruptcies at a six-year low. Big businesses can’t yet boast such an impressive comeback.
To date, there has been no pressure from a single body to rival the lobbying power of big business. Whenever policy makers are gearing their efforts towards the richest and the loudest, we will combine to point out the unintended consequences to the wider economy.
Through this union of entrepreneurial expertise, we want to see an environment in which self-starters are free to challenge established business models, without being bound by the regulation and red tape that reinforces traditional monopolies.
Our first action will be to pressure Government to ensure the statistics around the number and contribution of small businesses is properly accounted for. At present, the data are divided and contradictory.
This is just the first of many interventions in the public policy debate – we welcome ideas from small business owners the length and breadth of Britain on other ways that we can work to make Britain more entrepreneurial.
Emma Jones, founder Enterprise Nation
Clive Lewis, head of enterprise ICAEW
Megan Downey, manager School for StartUps
Alex Jackman, head of policy Forum of Private Business
Dawn Whiteley, chief executive, National Enterprise Network
Matt Smith, director, Centre for Entrepreneurs
Dan Martin, editor, BusinessZone.co.uk
Graeme Fisher, head of policy, Federation of Small Businesses
Philip Salter, director, The Entrepreneurs Network
The agenda of the new alliance is clear that it is there to better serve small businesses.
Watch this space for new on The Alliance of Entrepreneurs and, if you wish to comment on the initiative, see the open letter over at Enterprise Nation’s blog.