A new campaign is urging politicians in Wales to spend more time talking to small businesses to improve business policy- making.
A new campaign is urging politicians in Wales to spend more time talking to small businesses to improve business policy- making. The initiative has come from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) which is warning that the views of SMEs can sometimes be overlooked in favour of larger enterprises. To combat this trend, FSB Wales is encouraging AMs to spend a day with a local business in their constituencies over the summer recess. Next month FSB Wales will bring entrepreneurs and politicians face to face as part of its ‘Real-Life Entrepreneurs’ campaign, designed to highlight and celebrate the role of those who take commercial risks, set up businesses and create jobs. AMs and Ministers will get together with the entrepreneurs from across Wales at the Federation’s annual dinner in Cardiff this evening, where the keynote speaker will be FirstMinister, Carwyn Jones. His speech will be followed by an open discussion on how government can help small businesses set up, survive and grow. Janet Jones, Welsh Policy Unit chairwoman for the FSB, said: “Whilst we acknowledge that politicians share our ambition to strengthen and increase the competitiveness of the Welsh economy, this level of consensus is not always as evident when it comes to the importance of business engagement. Mrs Jones said that despite some good examples of politicians engaging with small businesses - to get a flavour of how they function and the hurdles they face - this sort of interaction must become commonplace. She added: “It’s vital that politicians spend more time with real-life entrepreneurs in their constituencies and elsewhere, in order to ensure that policies are informed by genuine experiences from the marketplace. “Wales is dominated by small to medium sized businesses and these enterprises tend to be run by the same people who set them up. They know the reality of uncertainty, risk and hard work and are the backbone of the Welsh economy, so are best placed to advise those who make and influence public policy. “As such, we want AMs to visit local businesses, when they have time, during summer recess.” The aim of the Real-Life Entrepreneur campaign is to open up dialogue between small businesses and the Welsh Government, on issues such as access to finance, reducing barriers to accessing export markets, and incentivising job creation. The campaign also aims to champion the efforts of successful entrepreneurs, using them as role models to encourage others to start businesses. Entrepreneurs from across Wales are backing the campaign. Among them is Nerys Baber, who started her mobile holistic therapy business in Cardiff, in November 2005. The 30-year-old created Elixia Therapy and specialises in holistic treatments for people with learning difficulties, autism and challenging behaviour. She said: “The best piece of advice I would give to any budding entrepreneurs is to take your time at the start, sit down and make lists. I would definitely recommend joining a business organisation like the FSB to take advantage of the expertise on offer. “The Welsh Government could do more to help incentivise job creation. I have applied for funding on a couple of occasions, which is a very time-consuming process, but have been unsuccessful as I couldn’t guarantee that I would employ someone within a set time-scale. “Now I employ someone, but with the foundation of financial assistance at the beginning, I could have got there a lot sooner.” Also supporting the campaign are Collin Singer, who started Wag Tail UK Ltd in Flint in 2003 and trains sniffer dogs for a variety of clients including the UK Border Agency and 31-year-old Anna Bastek who started Wolfestone Translation in Swansea in September 2006. Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business-in-wales/business-news/2012/05/08/fsb-wales-launch-new-initiative-to-get-politicians-closer-to-the-issues-facing-small-business-91466-30918595/#ixzz1v1moVKmt
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