News story

Business minister unlocks new business potential

Business minister Michael Fallon announces extra support including less red tape for challenger businesses.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

20 Sep 2012

Speaking at the MADE entrepreneur festival in Sheffield, Business and Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon announced that there will be new independent scrutiny of the rules and regulations that are barriers to growth for challenger businesses.

These are innovative enterprises that do not follow established ways of business working, and which might be held back by burdensome bureaucracy.

Michael Fallon said:

“Challenger businesses create wealth and jobs - we should champion them at every opportunity. They put new products on our shelves, innovate our service industry and create new markets using the latest technology. I don’t want these pioneers falling foul of outdated regulations.

“I am now looking in more depth at the rules and regulations that are holding back our most forward-thinking entrepreneurs. That’s why in addition to the package of proposals I’m publishing today, I am also strengthening the role of the independent Regulatory Policy Committee to make sure that regulation barriers to challenger businesses growth are removed.”

This experimental Red Tape Challenge work uncovered a wide range of issues - not all purely regulatory, but relevant to this theme. Key proposals are to:

  • Create a new independent role to champion deregulation for innovative businesses
  • Encourage a self regulating approach in the peer-to-peer finance industry by increasing membership of their finance associations and building on their consumer code of practice
  • Help knowledge-based businesses to secure finance by working with banking and accountancy experts to improve existing guidance and raise awareness of the Government schemes which can help
  • Identify ways to drive down costs in applying for and defending patents, including examining the operation of the US ‘small entity’ regime
  • Make it cheaper and simpler for SMEs to challenge potential infringements of their trade marks
  • Provide a better balance to the rights of consumers and online traders by implementing a new Consumer Rights Directive to replace the existing distance selling regulations
  • Amend the Estate Agents Act (1979) to take out of its scope intermediaries such as private sale portals, which only advertise properties and provide a means for sellers and buyers to communicate with each other.

See the report: Removing red tape for challenger businesses (PDF, 284 Kb) .

The Minister also announced Northamptonshire as the “most enterprising place in Britain”.

22,000 business mentors now accessible

Michael Fallon also gave an added boost to entrepreneurs by announcing that a network of 22,000 mentors is now accessible on the Mentorsme website. He added:

“Business mentors play a vital role in helping SMEs to build their knowledge base as the support comes from someone who has been there and done it before.

It is great that we now have a vast network of accessible business mentors but we want to grow that number even further and give greater choice to our entrepreneurs.”

Extra money to help entrepreneurs, including women in business, access more support

To make sure that entrepreneurs, particularly women in business, are aware that this support is available, Culture Secretary Maria Miller has today announced that £100,000 will be invested to help them find the right mentor to help their business prosper. This will bring the total government investment in the mentoring programme to £1.8 million.

Michael Fallon will be making the announcements at the MADE entrepreneur festival in Sheffield. There he will meet young entrepreneurs and take part in the Intuit 100-up session, where young business people will be matched up with volunteer business mentors, trained through the Get Mentoring initiative.

Published 20 September 2012