The government has published the UK’s first industrial strategy and there is plenty for SMEs to get excited about.
Tara Gillam, Head of Enterprise at Business West has responded to the whitepaper:
It is encouraging to see a strong focus on scale up businesses and we particularly welcome the renewed commitment to work with and strengthen Local Enterprise Partnerships and Growth Hubs, which we see as being instrumental in creating growth opportunities in the South West of England, especially in the West of England and Swindon and Wiltshire LEP regions.
“We want Growth Hubs to carry on building their reach, developing peer-to-peer networks, connecting businesses to the best support available from the private and public sectors. We will also work with Local Enterprise Partnerships, Growth Hubs, universities and the private sector to support high potential businesses to scale up.” – P182
Driving the increased focus on scale up initiatives is recognition of the value of small businesses to the local economy, and the potential for boosting national productivity by supporting high-potential businesses to reach the next stage of growth.
“We could do better in the longer-term process of building up successful businesses to reach large-scale and as the Scale-Up Taskforce has highlighted, more can be done to increase the number of businesses that achieve their full potential.” – P172
This is good news for many businesses, but the government should be wary of forgetting fledgling start-ups amongst the flurry of support for high-potential and high-growth businesses.
Going forward, it is important that the government builds on the foundations set out in the whitepaper by producing strong local industrial strategies that reflect the potential of businesses beyond London.
The West of England is already great place to start a business and with sustained support we can continue building a business environment that empowers new businesses to grow and expand.