John Walker, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Image courtesy of: fsb.org.uk
A new parliamentary enquiry, organised by the All Party Parliamentary Small Business Group
, will look at the issues preventing small firms from growing successfully.
The Entrepreneurship Inquiry began its proceedings with an analysis of the reasons why women and older business owners are less likely to apply for a bank loan.
The inquiry is also looking at why small firms and entrepreneurs continue to have problems accessing bank credit.
Maxine Benson, co-founder of business network everywoman
, said: “It is an economic imperative that we see an increase in the number of women- owned businesses in the UK.
“Our research has shown that for many women a lack of confidence, access to finance and role models can prevent them from realising their full potential as entrepreneurs.
“We believe that cost-effective skills training, confidence-building and access to networks would encourage and enable more women to start and grow businesses.”
The inquiry will try to find a way to encourage women and older entrepreneurs to actively seek bank loans and boost their confidence around taking on debt.
Nick Bunting, chef executive of Prime
(Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise), said: “Mature entrepreneurs are often overlooked and supporting them into enterprise can contribute to helping to resolve unemployment, provide enhanced income, opportunities for engagement as well as the prevention of social exclusion.”
Federation of Small Businesses
(FSB) chairman John Walker said that bank finance was still a widespread and important method of funding for small businesses.
“While alternative forms of finance need to be promoted, this needs to change and confidence needs to be instilled in all sectors of society so that they know bank finance is a real option.
“The Entrepreneurship Inquiry gives us a chance to discuss the barriers that the UK’s small firms face and come up with good, practical solutions to help ease the burden. We look forward to seeing the results of this later.”
Brian Binley, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Small Business Group, said that it was essential the Government recognised the pressures mounting on people trying to start up and run smaller firms.
He said: “I want new small businesses to be relieved from the disproportionate burden which many regulations place upon them and whose impact is especially harsh during the early period of their development.
“The Government must be prepared to act to enable growth to occur – which requires small and medium- sized enterprises to feel confident and consumers to start spending.”