FSB | An Entrepreneurial North

FSB Policy Report 29 Mar 2023

Unleash The Power Of Small Businesses to Reduce Regional Inequality

Businesses across the North of England already play a major role in creating jobs and generating sustainable economic growth, and by doing so they are helping to rebalance the UK economy. To achieve the ambitious aims set out by Government in its Levelling Up White Paper, Northern entrepreneurs will be the key to our success.

This report brings together proposals from small business owners right across the North to form a clear and cohesive approach to supporting businesses, creating an entrepreneurial culture, and reinvigorating our communities. Our ambition is simple. We want to make the North of England the best place in the UK to start-up, scale-up, and run a small business.

We want people across the UK, and indeed the world, to truly recognise the North of England as a powerhouse for small business enterprise and growth. It is only by nurturing and encouraging entrepreneurship and investing in Northern infrastructure that we believe the Government will be successful in increasing the growth rate of this economy.

Our success will depend on commitment and a set of targeted actions to include all communities across Northern towns and cities: from The Humber to the Solway Firth, from Northumberland to Cheshire, every single member of our community must be brought forward with us on our journey to economic success. The focus must be on small businesses at each stage of their growth journey, including the self-employed, pre-start, starts-ups, businesses with moderate growth ambitions and scale-ups.

Over a period of 11 weeks, we have held in-depth roundtables and surveyed businesses across the North, creating a robust evidence base for our recommendations. Although funding and investment in digital and transport infrastructure play a major role in creating the conditions for economic success, this report is not just focussed on funding. This is about recognising the challenges businesses face, increasing efficiency in the delivery of interventions on significantly reduced funding provisions, and maximising the local autonomy we now have to deliver meaningful interventions that work for our communities.

Ultimately, we represent businesses in every corner of the North of England. We know their entrepreneurial spirit, and without barriers put in their way they will generate the jobs, growth, and productivity we need to support in rebalancing the UK economy. It is only by helping small businesses to achieve their ambitions that we will see genuine economic success.

Click below to download the full report.