Half of all MPs are oblivious to entrepreneur centres » SMEInsider

Half of all MPs are oblivious to entrepreneur centres

Research from The Entrepreneurs Network reveals that over half of all British MPs are unable to identify centres that nurture entrepreneurs, calling into question their abilities to create policies that could help SMEs.

The network’s report, entitled Parliamentary Snapshot 2015: MPs on Entrepreneurship, includes information taken from interviews with over 100 MPs inside the House of Commons.

Out of the 100 polled, over half (55 per cent) were unable to identify Catapult Centres, a network of centres designed to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in seven specific areas and help drive future economic growth. The centres have been around since 2012.

Again, over half of MPs were unable to identify their own government’s projects, with 58 per cent of politicians unaware of the Angel CoFund, a £100m project put in place by the government to ensure that SMEs are receiving proper investment.

One of the most surprising statistics is that 49 per cent of MPs have never heard of the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). The investment scheme is one of the biggest funding options available to entrepreneurs in the UK.

The Entrepreneurs Network claim that there is ‘‘a discrepancy between the strength of MPs’ opinions about what would benefit entrepreneurship in the UK and their understanding of the current policies in place.’’

This is a worrying statement for all small business owners, as any potential SME policy changes could be resting in the hands of politicians that know nothing about small businesses.

The network has released a list documenting all of the entrepreneurial policies and centres that MPs are unaware of:

Unaware MPs

‘‘I’m not at all surprised by this research,’’ commented Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Network. ‘‘This is one of the reasons we’ve called for a dedicated small business unit within the Department for Business.’’

‘‘Is small business high enough on these MPs’ priority list? Post-election, it seems not. The new small business minister [Anna Soubry, pictured] hasn’t even run a business before. If the MPs don’t know about these policies, then their constituents might not either.’’