Lord Young Declares ‘Golden Age’ for Small Businesses

The prime minister’s enterprise advisor analyses the changing face of UK enterprise in new report

Lord Young is optimistic about the future for small businesses, announcing they are entering a ‘golden age’ in a new report published yesterday. The Report on Small Firms 2010-2015 was compiled to analyse the UK business landscape and highlights business growth, the factors that impact small firms, and the government’s future support plans.

Young, who acts as David Cameron’s advisor, revealed the huge increase in the number of small businesses, up by 760,000 and now equalling around five million in total. The report also underlined a record number of people in work (30.8 million) and a rise in firms with a social ethos – with social businesses presently accounting for 6% of UK enterprises.

In relation to factors that have impacted this growth, Young believes that accessibility and mass adoption of the internet and technology have had the greatest influence.

The report also emphasised the government’s contribution, with increased support evident in the introduction of measures like the £1.1bn business rates and business rates relief package, and facilitated funding through Start Up Loans, the British Business Bank, alternative funding providers, the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Funding for Lending.

Young noted that tax and regulation changes have made some difference, and that business support has been made more accessible through schemes like Growth Vouchers and the Business Growth Service.

Finally the report touched upon the government’s future plans, with a focus on education through the development of an enterprise passport and a new set of industry-designed digital courses for small businesses. In addition to this the government plan to introduce a trillion pound sector procurement market for small firms.

Commenting on the findings, Lord Young said:

“My report reflects on the key developments that government and its partners have supported to raise ambition about enterprise and enable entrepreneurs to build successful businesses.

“Put these together and you can see the transformative effect on enterprise opportunities in the UK today. This is the golden age for small firms – there has never been a better time to start and grow a business.”

You can read Lord Young’s full report here.

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