By Marcus Leach
Leading entrepreneurs gathered at Smith & Williamson's London offices for the latest Entrepreneurial Minds event tonight (Tuesday), where Michael Fallon MP, Minister for Business and Enterprise, and serial entrepreneur Luke Johnson were guest speakers.
The focus of the evening was how the Government should work with the private sector to rebuild the enterprise economy; a sector the Government themselves have said is vital to the economy's recovery.
Both Mr Johnson and Mr Fallon spoke of the need to create an ideal environment for enterprise in the UK, and whilst the Government are currently reducing the barriers to growth, there are still areas where more can be done.
Interestingly, several entrepreneurs at the event spoke of the continued barriers they have in building businesses, despite Fallon's reassurances that the Government was doing all they could to eliminate those barriers, chief of which was cash-flow problems.
Ed Bussey, founder of Figleaves and iTrigga, said that his biggest obstacle in building a business was that of cash-flow, and the fact that he struggled to get a £20,000 overdraft facility despite giving a personal guarantee.
"Getting banks top provide debt to support companies is the biggest problem," said Bussey. "I have offered a 100% personal guarantee on a simple bank overdraft on our company account and I can't get it. I apply on my personal account and i get it in half an hour. There is something fundamentally wrong there.
"Obviously the money that is being pushed through for the Funding for Lending Scheme is not being filtered down to businesses that need it."
Mr Fallon did admit that there were problems with the Funding for Lending Scheme, and that the Government was working with the banks to ensure a more efficient process in the future.
Whilst business owners may feel frustrated that not enough is being done soon enough, the Government is striving to improve conditions for enterprise, but just like their businesses, they must show a degree of patience to allow the change to take place.
The event was held in conjunction with the Smith and Williamson Enterprise Index. The Index looks to provide a regular snapshot of the UK economy from the perspective of the nation’s wealth creators.