Enterprise encompasses a multitude of activities, but at its heart is the taking of risk to start new ventures.
Enterprising behaviour can include starting up a new business or employees developing innovative ideas to benefit their organisations. Enterprise is key to increasing productivity and retaining a competitive edge. It is one of the Government’s five key policy planks in addressing weaknesses in productivity at the microeconomic level.
In “Think Small First” (2001), the Government stated: “by 2005 the UK can become the best place in the world to start and grow a business.” Though there were some improvements by 2005, the climate for start-ups is still challenging, with extensive regulation and persistent problems accessing finance. Rates of VAT registration in disadvantaged areas are still significantly below those for more prosperous areas.
The UK’s productivity levels lag by comparison with France 19 per cent gap Germany 15 per cent gap and the United States 16 per cent gap. The prospects for SME growth are also more favourable in the US.
Building Britain’s Future – New Industry, New Jobs
In April 2009 the Government launched its “strategic plan” to invest in Britain’s economic and industrial future. The strategy aims to ensure high growth, high innovation firms get the financing they need as Britain moves out of the recession.
It will see more support for exporters by enhancing the role of UK Trade and Investment and the Export Credits Guarantee Department and support for “turning bright ideas into winning products in the marketplace”.
The initiative also aims for “smarter, more joined up Government” to create a coherent strategy for modern infrastructure and networks in Britain. The Government plans to back businesses in a range of markets and sectors, from pharmaceuticals to life sciences and plastic electronics.
Money Makes Business Go Round
Presentations from the EU Funding event held on 24 January: