Entrepreneur Country Manifesto is at this link: http://www.ariadnecapital.com/entrepreneur_country_manifesto
There is a hidden majority of people who want a reduced government sector, and want Entrepreneurs in the driving seat, but they don’t have the time or the know-how to go about getting the message out.
Today’s Financial Times article is here:
Hands off enterprises, state urged
By Hugo Greenhalgh
Published: August 8 2008 15:23 | Last updated: August 8 2008 15:23
Leading entrepreneurs have backed a call by Julie Meyer, co-founder of start-up networking club First Tuesday, for greater recognition of their contribution to the UK
Meyer, now chief executive of Ariadne Capital, an investment and advisory firm, has published a 15-point document called the Entrepreneur Country Manifesto, which is designed to clarify the role of entrepreneurs and their relationship with the government.
In it, she calls for less state involvement in business, a reduction of government intervention in the venture capital sector and a greater focus on how entrepreneurs can drive UK plc.
Michael Jackson, chairman of Elderstreet Investments and a former chairman of Sage, the UK
“Anything that puts pressure on the government to give entrepreneurs and smaller companies a leg up should be applauded,” he said.
His comments were echoed by Nick Ogden, chief executive of the Voice Commerce Group, who called for greater distance between government and smaller businesses.
“Politics and innovation do not go together,” he said. “Politicians want the praise for when the business is going well and then nothing to do with it if it starts to go badly.”
Meyer said her initial point was to highlight the importance of entrepreneurs to the overall economy.
“Entrepreneurs have gone mainstream,” she said. “Yet many believe the government is not even working within the same framework as them.
“Most of us want government to reduce its involvement, cut regulation, lower the tax burden and let them drive their own businesses.”
Peter Bazalgette, former chief creative officer of television production company Endemol and now a digital investor, said he broadly supported the document’s aims.
“Boiled down to its essentials, the manifesto is saying that entrepreneurs are vital for the future lifeblood of the economy,” he said.
Not everyone agreed with Meyer’s criticisms of the government, however.
James Caan, a serial entrepreneur and panellist on BBC TV’s Dragons’ Den, said the manifesto had overlooked some of the recent initiatives designed to aid entrepreneurs.
“We have seen skills developments through the Learning and Skills Council, taper relief formerly on capital gains tax, and a record number of businesses being started,” he said.
“The government has not got it 100 per cent right, but UK plc has itself created a very stimulating environment in which to do business.”
Others gave a more blunt assessment of Meyer’s initiative. “Anybody can come up with 15 obvious statements, put them in a press release, and call it a manifesto,” said Robert Loch of Internet People, a networking group for dotcom entrepreneurs.
“If she wants to actually help, she should do something with substance.”
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008