With the discourse shifting in the entrepreneurial sphere from “startup” to “scale-up”, Annabel Denham unveils three policy reforms which The Entrepreneurs Network is pushing for to help turn entrepreneurial activity into high-growth businesses:
1. Allow unquoted shares to be included in an Isa wrapper
2. End the National Insurance Contributions system
Thank you for inviting me to speak on leading with my mission. It was interesting to hear the missions of the entrepreneurs sat around this table. Yet around half aimed to grow a certain amount in a certain timeframe, and this is to misunderstand what a mission is. We all have objectives and goals. A mission is not what you’re trying to do, nor how you’re trying to do it. It’s why.
By way of introduction, Pact Coffee is a coffee delivery service, which operates on a flexible subscription model. We trade directly with some of the best coffee producers across the globe including Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Rwanda and Ethiopia. We import their produce, roast it, and deliver it to our customers.
Three and a half years after launch, we are likely to turn over £10m this year and are growing 10 per cent month-on-month. Read more
1. Loosening regulation on venture debt – a source of funding which plays a significant role in our entrepreneurial ecosystem, yet is subject to regulatory obstacles not faced in the VC sphere;
2. Working with industry to attract foreign companies and investors to the Alternative Investment Market, which lags far behind the highly-successful Nasdaq;
3. Boosting the marketplace for secondary shares by removing stamp duty on secondary purchases of unlisted shares; including private, unlisted companies in Isas and other tax wrappers; and setting CGT on secondary unlisted shares that align with Entrepreneurs’ Relief at 10 per cent.
In my latest Huffington Post column, I have the pleasure of interviewing Nancy Cruickshank, the effervescent serial entrepreneur whose latest venture, MyShowcase.com, is transforming the beauty industry.
Her personalised online beauty shopping service helps female entrepreneurs expand their beauty businesses; offers customers access to thousands of stylists and products; and gives over 40 different beauty brands access to a new market.
When she’s not working on her third venture, she finds time to champion women entrepreneurs (not least through her involvement in our Female Founders Forum), extoll the virtues of the sharing economy, and spend time with her family of four.
To mark the launch of The Entrepreneurs Network’s newest paper, Regional Voices: Yorkshire, Annabel Denham outlines in the Yorkshire Post why the Northern Powerhouse initiative must include the whole region, rather than just Manchester.
“At a recent roundtable hosted at PwC and chaired by BIS Select Committee chairman Iain Wright MP, Yorkshire entrepreneurs expressed fears that cities like Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford and Hull were being overlooked in favour of their neighbours west of the Pennines.
“With the North dreaming big again, as long as efforts are diversified away from Manchester and the skills gap is narrowed, we could still make those dreams a reality.”
In an interview with The Seed & EIS Hour, Philip Salter, director of The Entrepreneurs Network, explains why women-led businesses often struggle to reach the same economic scale as those run by men; why the Chancellor’s 2016 Budget was broadly good for entrepreneurs; and why, if there was one thing the UK government could do to support entrepreneurs, it would be to reform the Entrepreneurs Visa to attract more foreigners to set up businesses here in Britain.
This week, I caught up with Emma Sinclair – serial entrepreneur, Unicef Business Ambassador and the youngest person to IPO on the London Stock Exchange.
Emma left a successful career at Rothschild to found Mission Capital, which she floated aged 29. Since, she has built two more businesses – Target Parking and EnterpriseJungle.
She has never let her age act as a barrier to her success, and she dismisses claims that female entrepreneurs aren’t taken as seriously as their male counterparts. Nonetheless, she spends much of her free time championing entrepreneurship across the globe and giving back to the entrepreneurial community.
“I’m happy to do it: I love each and every interesting person, venture and event I cross paths with. I never tire of hearing their stories and experiences.”
Many entrepreneurs have set their sights on expanding overseas, but may not know where to start. And, as our director Philip Salter points out in Virgin StartUp, getting advice can be tricky – which is why we’ve partnered with UKTI on its Exporting is GREAT initiative.
“It has been calculated that poor professional advice from third parties and consultants has resulted in one in six small firms losing money in the last year, at a total cost of £6.4bn.”
So where should internationally ambitious entrepreneurs turn to for advice? Read Philip’s article in full here.
In response this week’s Budget, I’ve made the case for integrating employers’ national insurance, income tax and employees’ NI.
“Complexity has long been a feature of taxation in Britain, and nowhere is this more manifest than in the National Insurance regime. Constant tinkering over the last 70 years has left it unrecognisable and has reduced the likelihood of the electorate appreciating (i) what their total tax burden is; and (ii) the size of any increase.
“But what makes the NICs regime especially opaque is the employers’ part of national insurance, not least because the incidence falls squarely on employees.”
This is not to say employers are unburdened – studies have shown that administration alone imposes a significant cost on businesses and disproportionately affects smaller companies:
“SMEs are vital to the UK economy. Cutting costs creates an incentive for them to use their resources more efficiently and to transfer them into more production or more hiring. Further tweaking is not enough.”
I joined Suella Fernandes MP, Dr Andrew Lilico, Tim Loughton MP and others to give my views on the Chancellor’s 2016 Budget.
“After the burdens to business of a National Living Wage, tax on share dividends, and auto-enrolment on pensions, entrepreneurs were looking for some compensation from the Chancellor in this Budget. On the face of it, Osborne has delivered.”