Enterprise UK closure: a tragedy for SMEs

The government are having a laugh now, aren’t they?

I really tried to be supportive. I so wanted to believe in the much-needed change promised by the Coalition. I ploughed on faithfully.

Last November, when I attended the Enterprising Britain awards, I heard so many inspirational stories about the most incredible and unlikely partnerships, encouraging enterprise across the UK. Enterprise minister Mark Prisk was full of praise for the plans laid out both by Peter Jones and Tom Bewick of Enterprise UK.

Now, the same Mark Prisk has announced that all funding to Enterprise UK is to cease in April.

At the end of last year, the plans to close Enterprise UK would – at the very least – have been in the pipeline, if not confirmed. This makes me seriously doubt Mark Prisk’s sincerity.

The charity will sadly be wound down immediately. It’s an absolute tragedy and waste of an organisation which, over the years, has masterminded so many successful initiatives to promote a more entrepreneurial society.

Back in November, I also met Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridgeshire. He was promising to have completed his Enterprise Charter by the end of the month. Now, two months later, his office still informs us that there are delays and hitches and there is nothing in it worth discussing at this stage.

What’s going on?

Mark Prisk has been bounding around announcing a supposedly amazing set of plans to boost British SMEs. And yet alongside closing Enterprise UK, he’s scrapping the ever reliable Business Link and there’s a VAT hike (combined with soaring fuel costs) guaranteed to make life far, far harder for every single British business. 

All this, while we – the country’s SMEs – are doing our “Superman” jobs of trying to save the country’s economy.

Sadly, I’m no longer so sure about our Kryptonite abilities. Secondly, I’m convinced that I am joining the tide of people who have decided that these politicians have stretched credibility too far.

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