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Competitiveness Minister meets North East entrepreneurs

Date 3 Oct 2007
Author The Editor

Competitiveness Minister Stephen Timms met with 30 small business owners in the North East yesterday to ask what Government could do to further growth among Britain's businesses in the region. The meeting was the latest in a series of consultation events with business owners intended to be the first stage of a new enterprise framework.

Entrepreneurship plays a central part in the UK's economic success with small and medium enterprises employing 13.2 million people and contributing £369 billion to UK's economy every year. However, while the UK compares well with other European countries, the percentage of growing firms is significantly lower than in the US.

The entrepreneurs at the meeting were asked to consider what the Government could do to help small and medium enterprises take advantage of increased globalisation, where they think public policy is supportive and where it is not. They were also asked what they think the main barriers to starting a business in the North East are.

Stephen Timms said: "Britain has seen a significant increase in the numbers of small businesses in the last four years. We must now build on this success and ensure these small enterprises grow and take advantage of the new global markets. "That's why I have asked some of the North East's most successful business people to tell us what barriers they faced and give us their ideas on what more Government can do to ensure we make the most of the entrepreneurship of the British people.

"There are more than one million more people working in small and medium sized enterprises than seven years ago so there are signs of growth. The Government now needs to build on this success. We also need to be sure we keep renewing and refreshing our knowledge on what barriers to growth businesses face today."

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  2. Meetings

    David Johnson 7:35 3 Oct 2007

    Lets hope something comes out of it. Personally I think it is down to us to make it happen.

  3. SME

    Tony Spence 9:49 3 Oct 2007

    I feel there lies a problem with asking the opinion of 30 successful businesses what problems they faced. It would have been a better idea to ask 30 failures why they failed? This would provide real hard evidence of the barriers to start ups? Or is that just too real?

  4. Keeping it real

    Liz 9:48 12 Oct 2007

    Regardless of the numbers that met with him, all the business had experienced struggles surrounding sustaining success and barriers to growth. Key to success or failure of any business.

    I was one of the business owners that the Minister met with. Failures were discussed, along with sustainability and success.

    The need to bridge the gap between support at start-up stage to high growth is typically when sustainabilty sees the fractures that can lead to failure.

    If we don't engage with local and central Government then nothing will change, but agree that we have to also make change for ourselves.

    Need more people to stand up and make a difference, rather than back seat drivers.

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