On May 6th the country goes to the polls to vote for the party they want or, failing that, against the party they do not want to run this nation for the next 5 years. The Tories have focussed their aim on “the great ignored”.
I would like to respectfully suggest that the “Great Ignored” are not who he thinks they are. I believe that both parties are ignoring the 5+ million people who run small businesses or who are self-employed and the further 10+ million people who work for a small business.
They come from all walks of life. They come from every part of the nation. They represent the shoulders of the nation: all new enduring jobs in the last decade have come from small business. All new productivity growth has come from small business.
But, and it is you I am talking to, are a notoriously hard group of people to reach. The traditional media do a very, very poor job of reaching out to, or addressing the issues of small businesses.
Entrepreneurs are not easily grouped. The largest small business magazine in this country has less than 100,000 circulation. The largest lobbying group for small business has a membership of 200,000.
We have no collective voice. There is no Entrepreneurs Union. What is interesting is the reach of new media. The collective audience of the top ten small business websites in the UK reach over 2 million businesses.
No other media does that. So we decided to get together, competitors though we may be, and act as one. To give you a voice. To give you the opportunity to tell the government, whichever party that may be, what you have to say. We are launching today the Judgement Day Poll. Its a quick survey of the key questions we have been told you want the opportunity to express an opinion on. Just click here to take the poll. And tell your friends. Tell your colleagues, tell your competitors . Tweet about the Judgement Day Poll, using the hashtag #JDpoll to share your thoughts.
We will announce the poll tonight live on Sky News and we will announce the results at our live event: Have Your Say! Debating Doug Richard’s “Entrepreneurs’ Manifesto” on April 22nd at the Royal Institution of Great Britain.
We are the following:
- Doug Richard — Original BBC2 Dragon & Founder of School for Startups
- Michael Hayman — Co-founder at Seven Hills
- David Lester — Chairman at Crimson Publishing
- Dan Martin — Editor at BusinessZone.co.uk
- Andrew Diggle — Deputy MD at j4b plc
- Rory MccGwire — MD at MarketingDonut.co.uk
- ShÃ¡Ã¡ Wasmund — Founder and CEO at Smarta.com
- Nick James — Founder at FreshBusinessThinking.com
- Janice Pittis — Director at VentureNavigator
- Jasmine Birtles – Owner at MoneyMagpie.com
- Stuart Rock – Editorial Director & Co-founder at Caspian Publishing
We will be discussing the issues raised in the Entrepeneurs Manifesto and you are welcome to come. We will be covering the key suggestions raised in the Manifesto and debating whether they constitute the right priorities:
- Scrap Business Link to provide savings and migrate government business support services online to promote efficiency. Measure achievement by number businesses started and sustained by the programme.
- Simplify regulation to encourage people to start businesses by cutting red tape and easing obligations.
- New structures to empower individuals, such as friends and family, to invest in small businesses.
- Skills development focus by supporting small businesses to train employees. Business owners to be paid a subsidy for passing on marketable skills.
- Mandate government to procure from small UK businesses through a minimum quota.
- Broaden the scope for social entrepreneurs by creating new legal frameworks while increasing scope for outside investment and maintaining the benefits that accrue to CICs and other CLGs.]
- Introduce fast broadband to every home and business in the UK.
- Nationwide programme of entrepreneurship teaching and mentoring.
But one way or another silence is complicity. Silence is assent. You are the people on whom this country depends for its wealth. It is not merely your right to have a say, it’s your responsibility…
Take the poll – THE POLL IS NOW COMPLETE. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE RESULTS
Join the debate — 22nd April (CANCELLED)