In the Labour party’s latest pitch to British business, John McDonnell has announced plans to expand a programme offering help to budding startup founders that Labour says will result in the creation of 20, 000 new entrepreneurs a year.
In a speech on 8 April, the shadow chancellor supported the rolling out of strategic entrepreneurial hubs (SEHs), which are working spaces designed to support local professionals and small businesses in creating and maintaining an entrepreneurial state? a central focus of Labour’s economic plan.
McDonnell argued: We don’t want money to be the barrier to someone with talent, skill or a good idea and who wants to control their own destiny being prevented from starting up a small business of their own, staying the course and delivering growth.
our future success as a nation depends on growing in a more strategic way, and Labour wants to see an entrepreneurial state at a local and national level to help make this happen.
Costing 25m annually, SEHs are the latest in a series of measures outlined by Labour to tackle the country’s so-called productivity crises that the Conservative party has failed to address. At the start of April, Labour released a four-point plan to stabilise the UK steel industry.
The Federation of Small Business (FSB) has welcomed the announcement, stating that small business owners would welcome a greater a number of cheaper shared working spaces. The body’s policy director Martin McTague said: Rent is seen by 23 per cent of small firms as the main driver of increases in business costs, and so they will appreciate this idea to provide more shared working spaces for small firms to operate in.
“Recent planning changes have made it easier to convert office space into residential property. This has restricted the availability of business premises, driven up rent and priced many small businesses out of central areas in many towns and cities, particularly London.
According to Labour, there are over five million UK small businesses generating 1.8tn to the national economy, and employing 60 per cent of total private sector workers.
McDonnell continued: Labour has always been the party of makers and doers, we have a rich history of supporting those people who want to be designers, makers and innovators. And it’s by helping to create the next generation of entrepreneurs that we will build the economy of the future.
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