“If we ever needed a time for radical change, it’s now,” says Ragan. “We need political leaders who are courageous and prepared to engage with business leaders across the whole country, not simply London plc.”Ragan wants to create a Centre for Business (C4B) in the majority of UK counties. Each one would be headed by a non-political, private-sector “business champion”. Each C4B would provide all the necessary support for start-ups, ranging from advice on international trade and sales and marketing to IT development, business planning and funding. Ragan believes that business mentoring should be delivered by successful business leaders and that successive governments have been wasting public funds on ineffective, inexperienced and under-qualified agencies. “Banks who fail to lend would be refused future access to that centre’s business until they were ready to trade again. How powerful would that be?” comments Ragan. He adds: “We need politicians to recognise that business support must be simplistic and speedy. The public sector lacks the skills to deliver this.” Ragan set up independent insurance broker Motaquote when he was 23 years old and later sold the business for £20m, becomeing one of Wales’ youngest multi-millionaires. He has since completed more than 20 acquisitions.
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