If you’re the owner of a small or medium-sized business in the UK, you’ll be happy to hear that a special pressure group, the Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, has been set up to fight for those who run their own businesses.
Emma Jones founded the Entrepreneurs’ Alliance after reading a scathing article in The Daily Telegraph by City A.M. editor Allister Heath. The article, which appeared on October 8th this year, compared the unions, pressure groups and professional bodies of doctors, accountants, farmers and teachers to that of the British entrepreneur, who has none.
According to Heath, “If you are an entrepreneur, you are on your own. You have no voice, nobody to represent you on TV and the radio, nobody to express your concerns to government, nobody to explain to the powers that be that the latest regulation, tax or gimmick from Whitehall or Brussels will merely make your life even harder. This is a ridiculous situation. There are more entrepreneurs in Britain than ever before, and they will be creating the companies that will allow us to begin rebuilding our prosperity. The UK needs an entrepreneurs’ union — a slick, professional pressure group relentlessly fighting for wealth creators and promoting mass entrepreneurship as the answer to the crisis of confidence that is currently engulfing capitalism.”
Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones responded by writing to several organisations, including the Federation of Small Businesses, the Forum of Private Business, the School for StartUps and the Centre for Entrepreneurs, eventually holding a meeting that would form the backbone of the Entrepreneur’s Alliance.
Founding members of the Entrepreneurs’ Alliance are:
- Emma Jones, Enterprise Nation
- Clive Lewis, ICAEW
- Megan Downey, School for StartUps
- Alex Jackman, Forum of Private Business
- Dawn Whiteley, National Enterprise Network
- Matt Smith, Centre for Entrepreneurs
- Dan Martin, BusinessZone.co.uk and UK Business Forums
- Graeme Fisher, Federation of Small Businesses
- Philip Salter, The Entrepreneur Network
The Alliance made their intentions known in an open letter to the nation’s media, which reads as follows:
Today is the first day of Global Entrepreneurship Week – the world’s largest campaign to promote entrepreneurship. To mark the occasion, we have come together to create the Entrepreneurs’ Alliance: a pressure group to stand up for Britain’s wealth creators.
Together we represent more than 2.5m small and micro businesses. We are pooling our power and understanding of the small business community to remove the obstacles constructed by an economy too focused on the demands of big business.
Entrepreneurs have proved to be the lifeblood of this recovery: the number of VAT-registered businesses is already back to pre-2008 levels, start-up rates are at an all-time high and bankruptcies at a six-year low. Big businesses can’t yet boast such an impressive comeback.
To date, there has been no pressure from a single body to rival the lobbying power of big business. Whenever policy makers are gearing their efforts towards the richest and the loudest, we will combine to point out the unintended consequences to the wider economy.
Through this union of entrepreneurial expertise, we want to see an environment in which self-starters are free to challenge established business models, without being bound by the regulation and red tape that reinforces traditional monopolies.
Our first action will be to pressure Government to ensure the statistics around the number and contribution of small businesses is properly accounted for. At present, the data are divided and contradictory.
This is just the first of many interventions in the public policy debate – we welcome ideas from small business owners the length and breadth of Britain on other ways that we can work to make Britain more entrepreneurial.
According to Kobus van den Bergh of Sable Accounting, “Small business owners will benefit from a movement of like-minded individuals that works toward building a voice for the entrepreneurial community. This could mean greater influence when it comes to challenging tax and business laws, which can be restrictive for the UK’s freelance and small business community.”
With small business providing the backbone for the UK’s economy, the Entrepreneurs’ Alliance will hopefully pave the way for many more entrepreneurs to make a success of their start-ups.
If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner based in the UK or elsewhere, let us know your thoughts below.