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Ex-Dragon leads the charge for reform

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Richard is a long-time critic of the mechanisms set up by ministers to encourage and safeguard small businesses. In his new ‘manifesto for business‘, he has called for Business Link, the government’s flagship support network, to be dismantled completely.

Chief among his concerns is the bureaucratic and wasteful way in which help is delivered; he commented that it was currently “Kafkaesque”. Businesses should also be easier to set up, he added, like in the American model.

"In America if you want to start a new venture, whether it’s the next Google or a laundromat, everyone cheers you on, in Britain you enter a Kafkaesque world of bureaucracy," said the California-born entrepreneur.

"You should be able to start up a business in an afternoon," he said. "What we have at the moment is powerfully ineffective. We need to champion the pivotal place in society of entrepreneurs and the potential of social enterprise as a pathfinder out of recession."

Richard has become an influential figure in Conservative party circles since he was asked to investigate and critique government support services aimed at entrepreneurs in 2008. He has since become a powerful lobbyist for change in this area.  

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