The prime minister has appointed Lord Young of Graffham as his adviser on enterprise and charged him to produce a “brutally honest” report on how government departments affect small businesses.
In a blog post announcing the appointment, prime minister David Cameron commented: “I am seeking nothing less than a wholesale change in attitude from my Government and I need help to get there. So I am delighted that Lord Young has agreed to be my Enterprise Adviser; he’ll be working to identify what we need to do to help small businesses grow. He brings his own passion for business and a wealth of experience to the role.”
Lord Young’s study will examine ways in which the government could:
- remove barriers to encourage more people to start businesses
- minimise the regulatory and bureaucratic burdens that slow growth for small and medium-size firms
- support growth of small and medium-size businesses through reforming government procurement and ensuring access to finance
- improve engagement and communication with small businesses.
The story took an interesting twist after Lord Sugar posted a tweet questioning Lord Young’s appointment as Business Czar suggesting that he might be “out of touch with SMEs”.
KashFlow founder Duane Jackson responded by telling AccountingWEB.co.uk, “I’m not sure why Lord Sugar would suggest Lord Young is out of touch with SMEs. Lord Young has helped me grow KashFlow from a two-person start-up to where we are now: a 20-person company with close to 10,000 customers.”
As a backdrop to the spat, KashFlow recently polled 2,500 business owners and published results showing 78% of respondents said they would not work for Lord Sugar for £100,000 a year. When asked to stipulate their reasons, 54% said they preferred the lifestyle, freedom and independence of being their own boss; 23% cited a general dislike for him.
“Lord Sugar has had his time as Enterprise Czar. I’m not sure what he feels he achieved in that time,” said Jackson.