NNot long after taking office Theresa May held a round table discussion of small businesses to ascertain their views about Brexit.
Startups, entrepreneurship and innovation are the dynamos of a healthy economy.
What remains to be seen is the extent to which the government supports the new entrepreneurs.
Is Theresa May really behind British startups?
In early August 2016 Theresa May, the Prime Minister stated :
From dynamic start-ups to established family firms, our small and medium sized business are the backbone of our country.
I want to build an economy that works for all, and that means working with, and listening to, smaller firms.
I also want those firms, across all the sectors of our economy, to be able to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Brexit, such as exporting to new destinations.
While there is little doubt that Brexit poses high levels of uncertainty for UK enterprises the Bank of England has cut interest rates to very low levels. Coupled with the fact that the pound has reduced in value, this means that the outlook for exporters looks promising, at least n the short-term. Of course,what remains to be seen is what kind of access UK firms will have to European markets in a post Brexit world.
Might May's recent disbanding of the Business Advisory group be a sign of an end to big business dominance and the creation of a space for small businesses to thrive in and have a bigger say? After all- small business collectively stacks up to truly big business.
A need to regalvanise innovation
One thing is for certain- if the UK is to thrive in a post Brexit world we need to adopt a culture of entrepreneurial zeal and provide more startup support. That means we need to put an end to box ticking. The kind of box-ticking culture where startup support boils down to encouraging entrepreneurs to create meaningless business plans when in fact they are poorly prepared to start a business in more general terms.
Time to incubate
One only has to look at recent pledges of funds to startups in the USA, India and elsewhere to realise that there is a lot of work for the UK to do before we catch up.
One recent poll stated that millennials aren't too keen on starting their own businesses, perhaps favouring job security so that they can get onto an increasingly hard to access housing ladder.
Let's see what happens. If the banks start lending to the UK's 5.4 million small and medium sized businesses again that would certainly be a step in the right direction. Whether that's enough remains to be seen- what we really need are more incubator hubs, support and funding for startups. Fingers crossed that common sense prevails.