Image: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Image: Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Theresa May wants to see more patient capital, entrepreneurs and business owners want to see more from the Autumn Statement.

Is it possible to utter the words CBI and entrepreneurs in the same sentence without making some kind of juxtaposition?

Theresa May has had a go. She was speaking at a CBI conference, and called for more patient capital – that’s capital that is invested without expectations of an imminent return.

“I want to turn our bright start-ups into successful scale-ups by backing them for the long term,” she said, whilst CBI representatives quickly Googled what a start-up was.

And she has announced a new Patient Capital review.

Neil Woodford, the UK’s most successful investor, runs the Patient Capital Trust Fund, the biggest investor into smaller UK companies, although he has not commented on the May announcement.

Meanwhile, entrepreneurs have been calling for reforms from Phillip Hammond in tomorrow’s (November 23rd) Autumn Statement.

Paul Cant, president EMEA, BMC Software said that “like his predecessor, we hope to see Phillip Hammond pledge a vision for stronger digital economy in the UK. Investing into the right skills and providing fast and seamless services for UK citizens is imperative as we move further into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” He also called for collaboration between public and private sectors.

Chas Moloney, director at Ricoh UK said: “It’s critical that the government accelerates its digital transformation initiatives to create smarter, faster and more user-friendly public services. Delivering a paperless NHS is just the beginning, with areas such as education and local government on the cusp of benefiting hugely from transformational technologies. By putting digital at the heart of the public sector strategy, the government can empower new workstyle innovations, speed up digitisation and deliver even better services to the public.”

Guita Blake, senior vice president and head of Europe at Mindtree said: “In this year’s Autumn Statement, we hope to see Phillip Hammond show a commitment to furthering the ‘STEM agenda’ in the UK, inspiring our future female and male leaders to aspire to the best possible job roles, safe in the knowledge that they will be a fairly rewarded for their work.”

Jon Cook, director of sales, UK & Ireland at Citrix, said: “By encouraging businesses to offer further flexible working - and setting up policies which support those employees who do wish to work away from major urban hubs - the government could significantly ease the burden on large cities. This move could also support our rural communities, growing our talented workforce to also include those who can’t afford or don’t wish to live in large cities.”

Rashid Ajami, CEO and Founder of Campus Society said: “The UK has become one of the best places in the world for any small business to grow and thrive. We wouldn’t have been able to grow like we have, were it not for the dedicated efforts made by the UK government to provide comparatively low costs of  start-up  entry,  accessible  technology,  a flexible economy and  a positive  attitude  towards self-starters and entrepreneurship. This, coupled with the enthusiasm, hard-work and drive entrepreneurs up and down the country thrive on, is a recipe for a thriving hotbed of innovators and early adopters. . . we want to make sure the government listens to even the smallest of firms as it starts the next chapter in an economy that will change the parameters for migrant workers, new budgets and new trade deals. We’d urge the Government to do everything it can to deliver a strong environment that sustains UK entrepreneurial growth.”