Thank you to everyone for contributing, and I hope that Prelude and Growth Britain will continue to inspire business owners and start ups across the country to drive innovation and growth. Keep up the good work.

Lord Young, Enterprise Adviser to the
Prime Minister

Join the debate! Tell us what you would do to make Great Britain, Growth Britain and let us know which ideas you agree or disagree with.

Submit your idea.

Courses on freelancing given to the unemployed

It's estimated that 40% of Americans will be freelancers by 2020 and this phenomenon could be the same in the UK.

A lot of those who cannot get jobs still have skills that they can put to good use. Through freelance sites such as People Per Hour, Elance, Freelancer etc a lot of unemployed people could pick up work and build their own careers as freelancers.

These people do not of course have to stay freelancers forever but it will add something to their CV in a worst case or could lead to a freelancing career in a best case scenario.

I have spoken to tons of unemployed people who have said they wouldn't know where to start with freelancing. If we taught people about freelancing opportunities then it could help our labour count significantly.

Daniel Hall, Veni Vidi Vici Ltd | Thu 20th Feb 2014 at 20:14

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Saving Bray Film Studios from luxury housing development

I am writing to you on behalf of the Save Bray committee to request your support in saving this iconic film studio. It has been operating successfully for over 60 years, supplying local employment and bringing international finance and acclaim to the UK, but is currently under threat of demolition in order to make way for luxury homes. An application has been made to Eric Pickles to have the planning permission revoked. Teresa May has taken an interest and been monitoring the situation. Maria Miller has also been informed.

During this period of economic downturn, there is a paradoxical rise in the British film industry. According to an independent report published in 2012 UK film contributes more than £4.6 billion to UK GDP and more than £1.3 billion to the Exchequer. The Economic Impact of the UK Film Industry, published by Oxford Economics, shows the industry's growth outstrips the UK economy as a whole and suggests the overall picture is one of continued long-term growth. The number of jobs has also risen, with the UK film industry supporting 117,000 direct and indirect jobs, up from 100,000 in 2009. Nearly three-quarters of the workforce are graduates and earn a significantly higher-than-average salary. Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey commented: "This report clearly highlights the huge contribution that the UK film industry makes to long-term economic growth . The UK's successes at the BAFTA and Academy Awards celebrate the wonderful creative talents and accomplishments of UK film, but this report reminds us of the crucial role the industry plays in job creation, tourism, inward investment and the promotion of all that is great about Britain."

There is a great surge in film-making in the UK currently and all the big Studios are fully booked for the next three years at least. Bray Studios has long served as an overspill for Pinewood and Shepperton Studios, which are impractical for smaller independent productions. Note also, Pinewoo

Leigh Took, Mattes and Miniatures Visual Effects Ltd | Tue 17th Dec 2013 at 16:08

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Why not letting small VAT registered companies having their NIC payments for new emploees deducted from their VAT bill the first 24 months?

That will encourage both proper employment and for companies to VAT register.

NIC to deduct has to be less than the VAT to be paid to HMRC.
Magnus Ahlberg, Performance Yoga Ltd | Fri 29th Nov 2013 at 15:44

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Good thought but unlikely to Happen . VAT is a tax on consumption due by businesses while NICs are meant to relate to individuals and employees. It would be unfair for business to get a benefit by using its employees NIC contributions. Ie VAT lives on Mars and NICs are on the moon in relative terms.

Ewan hayes, hayestax limited | Tue 3rd Dec 2013 at 19:56

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Developing the startup economy - in initiatives, attitude to risk and support

The UK offers a lot for entrepreneurs. We've only had access to KickStarter, Seedrs, Crowdcube and other crowd funding models for a couple of years now and this very much improves a startup's access to early-stage funds. Initiatives offering grants for young people to set up their business are both helpful and attractive. SEIS was a major boon for early stage businesses looking to raise funds. With ties to the rest of Europe/EU distribution and expansion, the UK is a worthy contender in the SF, Israel, Berlin, NY ‘which is best’ startup area. What’s particularly interesting about a tech business built out of the UK is that it inherently needs to be more of a global business - and this is positive. However the US tend to buy out our successful businesses (remember Summly?) making the UK, reductively speaking, nothing more than a giant ‘incubator’ for US businesses.

What does this mean?

We should take more pride in the UK startup scene and continue to encourage, support and celebrate our entrepreneurs. Give them less reason to sell internationally. We need to establish the UK tech scene as a leading place not only to start a business but to run and eventually exit.
Also we need to dispel the atmosphere in the UK that failure is a ‘bad thing’ - this is one area we can learn a lot from our friends in the US.

Jack Symons, Treetops BD | Fri 29th Nov 2013 at 15:18

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Business finance through the VAT system

Don't give money to banks to lend to business (they don't pass it on).

Simply allow any business to defer their VAT payments and charge interest at around 1% per month.

Business cash flow resolved at a stroke whilst disimtermediating the useless banks.
Neil Stanley, Alamex Ltd | Thu 28th Nov 2013 at 19:50

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But when would you pay it?
Malcolm Durham, Flexible Directors Ltd | Thu 5th Dec 2013 at 12:02

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Patent Fund for people who earn under £20,000 per year.

There are a lot of people in Britain who have brilliant ideas, but not everyone can afford a patent. These ideas could create thousands of new businesses in the UK and a lot of wealth for the country. If there was a fund then these ideas may be able to become a reality. Of course the ideas would have to go through a panel for their feasibility and money making potential before a patent application is started by the fund.
Daniel Hall, Veni Vidi Vici Ltd | Wed 27th Nov 2013 at 19:27

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Absolutely agree. Getting 'protection' is meant to, er, protect. However spending thousands of pounds before market testing is inherently risky. The majority of risk is front-loaded. Given that most businesses fail, those who seek protection are often taking a big gamble on the positive outcome of their business.

Jack Symons, Treetops BD | Fri 29th Nov 2013 at 15:24

A patent attorney can usually give an indication if a patent is going to be granted at an initial meeting so that stage is not too expensive. The cost comes in exploring it and maybe protecting it. I suggest that at this stage, when a patent attorney has given the ok, you could apply for a loan which is guaranteed by the Government under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, up to say £50,000. This could apply to all Intellectual Property.
Malcolm Durham, Flexible Directors Ltd | Thu 5th Dec 2013 at 12:09

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Remove the differential between employees and sub-contractors

Remove the differential between employees and sub-contractors with regards to NI. It’s financially significant but the reality is that the system is manipulated and there is often very little real difference between employing a staff member and a sub-contractor. My proposal would be to level the rate down and pay for it by removing the relief for employers when making pension contributions.
Malcolm Durham, DFM t/a Flexible Directors (Ltd) | Wed 20th Nov 2013 at 18:51

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Are you suggesting widening the scope of IR35 to apply this to all contractors ?
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Tue 26th Nov 2013 at 20:52

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Seperation of the Job Centre from Benefits System

I believe the job centre needs re-separating from the benefits system. Businesses that use employment agencies and or top end recruitment methods have not been affected by the merge but for many businesses with lower end workforce where it is not viable to use recruitment agencies we have been reliant on the job centre. Till moderately recently, they did a fair job at being a local employment agency. Centralization, digital basing and total linking with the benefits system means that employers place jobs on line and are then besieged by postings from all over Britain, both without the skill sets and stating clearly that they will not re-locate. They have to post a certain number of cv’s to get their benefits.. It is nonsensical and of detriment to the employer and genuine employee.
Jan Cavelle, The Jan Cavelle Furniture Co | Wed 20th Nov 2013 at 14:14

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