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Budget 2015: Chancellor urged to appoint minister for entrepreneurs PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

George Osborne should create a new cabinet role for a Minister for Entrepreneurship in his Budget, according to Entrepreneurial Spark leader Jim Duffy.

The Entrepreneurial Spark chief executive, fresh from the roll-out out of the hugely-successful business accelerator scheme across the UK, has challenged the Chancellor to support start-ups with a series of bold measures to boost business

And the flagship proposal is for a Minister to be tasked with championing entrepreneurs and helping them create billions for Britain.

Duffy, CEO of Entrepreneurial Spark, said: ‘Start-up businesses and a new generation of entrepreneurs are bringing billions of pounds into the UK economy, creating thousands of jobs and making a huge contribution to communities across the length and breadth of Britain.

‘New firms under our banner have already created more than 1000 jobs, have turned over more than £41million and been awarded almost 400 patents.

‘But there is so much more they can do with greater support at government level. We have a Minister for Business but the needs of start-ups can be very different from those of large and established firms or giant multi-nationals.

‘They deserve, and Britain would benefit hugely from, a Minister at Cabinet level who can influence legislation to provide greater support for start-ups and raise awareness of the massive economic and social benefits these businesses bring.

‘At our initial three Hatcheries in Scotland, we benefited massively from having Entrepreneurs in Residence of the calibre of Sir Tom Hunter, Lord Haughey and Ann Gloag OBE. They are exactly the kind of people who would be brilliant in the role.

‘Imagine the boost that start-up businesses across Britain would get from seeing someone with that experience, or other inspirational and successful self-made businessmen like Lord Sugar, sitting around the Cabinet table beside the Prime Minister.’

After a hugely successful three years in Scotland, Entrepreneurial Spark, powered by Natwest, is expanding across Britain, opening new Hatcheries last week in Bristol and Leeds, and is now supporting start-ups from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

Jim continued: ‘Everywhere we go, we are hugely encouraged by the great business ideas, drive and determination of these budding business leaders.

‘But they also repeatedly tell us of the same frustrations and the same challenges they have faced and the difficulties they still have to contend with.

‘In one stroke on Wednesday, George Osborne could create the office of Minister for Entrepreneurs. The right person in that role could create legislation that would offer practical help to start-ups, for example raising the VAT threshold for small businesses to £100,000 and freeing thousands of start-ups from that administrative burden.

‘This Budget can help kick-start a ‘golden age’ that allows ten thousands of start-up businesses to create billions for Britain, and appointing a Minister for that purpose would be a huge first step.’



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