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.

Collaborative Entrepreneurship

We need a paradigm shift for micro-SMEs from "My Idea, my rewards" to "Collaborative Entrepreneurship", a Pooling of "Ideas, rewards & risks".

This needs a proforma legal agreement for collaborative project working, and a shift to "Virtual Clusters", where micro-SMEs collaborate using the Web to supply Corporates using Agile-SCRUM methods, as bees to a honeypot.

This could lead to global physical hubs, such as London, New York, Frankfurt, being supplied via the web by Ecosystems of global SMEs who come together for individual projects.

Andrew Lewis, Simul Systems Ltd | Wed 19th Mar 2014 at 12:40

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Government incubators

The government should 'help people to help themselves' by creating a number of business incubators that run all year round.

They would consist of a number of talented staff who could pass on their advice to new businesses.

Many people who start businesses do not know how to grow their companies but with the governments help they could. Just inputting some vital skills in to these start ups, our start up scene could be a lot more successful.

As a second part to this, the government could help place interns in to these companies. This not only helps the new companies grow but gives graduates vital experience that could help them find jobs.

I have lots more ideas on this and can expand on it if need be.

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

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A 10 Point Plan to Get the UK Moving Again

Here are my 10 points on how to make the UK a world beater when it comes to nurturing small to medium-sized businesses. The ‘penalizing’ of entrepreneurs aged 30 and over for instance when it comes to government funding and the whole ‘information access’ mess out there at the moment.

Here’s 10 points I think need addressed – and quickly:

1. Ban Bankruptcy. Why should entrepreneurs be penalized for daring to go with their vision?

2. Motivate more mentors. Provide tax incentives to those willing to give up their time to coach start-ups.

3. Loosen up Lending. Forget the credit ratings scoring system. Of course entrepreneurs are going to have bad credit ratings. They have a business to run!

4. Axe Ageism. Get lenders and other funding institutions – including the government – to stop making age 30 a cut-off point for start-up grants.

5. Get Global. Give tax breaks to companies which are exporting and trading overseas. Pay experienced exports to teach start-ups how to do it.

6. Rise above Rents. Provide incentives for owners of commercial premises to rent them out at affordable rates to small business owners.

7. Initiate better Information sources. Centralize the mass of information out there for start-ups and cut back on research time that frankly, business owners just don’t have.

8. Target Territories. Get a task force together to work out where location and sector-wise information and help are most needed. Do we need more mentors up north for instance?

9. Garner Graduates. Utilize new graduates skills and knowledge by providing training for them with start-ups – providing a win/win situation.

10. Look to lifestyle businesses. It’s not all about maximizing potential. Lifestyle business owners need help from the government too – otherwise watch the unemployment statistics rise!

Raj Dhonota, | Tue 14th Jan 2014 at 11:40

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House building programme

1. focus on a massive affordable house-building programme using modern, green technologies and ensuring well insulated accommodation with built in IT/communications systems
2. Manufacture components in purpose-built factories in UK located in each region (to minimise transportation costs etc)
3. Assemble on site
4. Train and equip people with the skills to design homes and components, work in the manufacturing or assembly programmes, install and maintain IT systems etc

Chris Beales, Afghan Action | Fri 10th Jan 2014 at 17:04

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Facilitated and Subsidised Purchasing and Transport of Goods from China

As China is the largest manufacturing country on the planet, it is imperative for the entrepreneur to have easy access to goods made there. I propose that the government instigates measures to facilitate the purchase of and transport of goods from there. This could be done in a number of ways:
1) Setup links with Chinese manufacturing companies who will present there wares on websites written in English, so UK based entrepreneurs can easily see and buy goods for their companies, because it is not necessarily clear on how to do this.
2) Subsidise transport and delivery methods from China to allow for cheap postage for entrepreneurs, allowing purchase of goods in high volumes with low transport costs. Also present entrepreneurs with an easy method of transporting goods from China, this is maybe a hurdle which puts off a lot of potential companies, and offering an easy method to do this would generate numerous new businesses.
I believe with these simple measures Britain would generate multiple new businesses and it would motivate entrepreneurs to start businesses they would not have attempted before when these hurdles stood in the way.

Greg Hodson, Retrobluehawk | Thu 19th Dec 2013 at 16:36

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China may be the largest manufacturing country but China is also one of the largest countries in the world and has the largest population. That said they need a lot of everything.
Buying cheap from china to sell high in the UK is not the answer.
I'm sure any quality product coming from Asia will have a quality service with it and clear websites.
We need to support UK manufacturing to grow Britain.

Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Fri 20th Dec 2013 at 01:15

Why on Earth would we subsidise China with ANYTHING, let alone taking jobs away from the indigenous manufacturing companies struggling against them
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Fri 10th Jan 2014 at 23:38

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Mandate that big corporates pay their suppliers after 30 days maximum

This will free up cash for investment in the suppliers business.

Many large corporates are using smaller businesses to provide a “free loan”. They have extended their payment terms from 30 days to 60 days. This forces the supplier to finance the extra 30 days from reserves or to borrow the money. Both increase our costs and lower profitability.

However, another factor is that by doing this, they deprive the supplier from having access to the money to invest for the future.

The “Late Payment of Commercial Debt Act does not work, because these large Corporates will only do business if you agree to opt out of it.

Therefore, mandated 30 day payment terms with no opt out will give many SME’s access to cash (their own money) for investment which will facilitate growth.

Stephen Davis, StarBase | Mon 9th Dec 2013 at 12:28

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How would this be enforced, and enforced any better than the existing Act ? Stopping opt outs is all very well, but taking action when the 30 days has elapsed is another entirely.
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Fri 10th Jan 2014 at 23:48

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Increase the limits on SEIS levels

Great Britain has many amazing individuals with fantastic business ideas. What is needed is investment in these ideas to see if they can be turned into viable businesses.
The SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme) is fantastic but a company can only raise £150k under this scheme. An individual can also only invest up to £100k per year.
Raising the amount a business can raise (and an individual can invest) under the SEIS scheme would certainly help drive the growth of new businesses.

Dan Mountain, Buyagift Plc | Mon 9th Dec 2013 at 12:02

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Moving risk to just the cutting edge...

The key to growth - and by that I mean technological progress that enriches us all as the human race - is to focus our productive, yet destructive competitive drive on pushing the boundaries.

If the mainstream marketplaces are made safe, more people will invest their money, time and resources for a decent return safe in the knowledge that they won't be lost to competitive risk.

At the same time, best practice products and services would be distributed globally so that everyone can enjoy hem...and just as importantly have a starting point from which to innovate. Innovators - individuals, teams or businesses - would be rewarded with a fixed share of the incremental value that they added. Everyone else would be involved in production and delivery...until they had the inspiration required to become an innovator.

The rich would have more to spend their money upon and everyone else's standard of living would increase as technology increased abundance and enabled us to conquer the universe, cyberspace and virtual worlds that we have yet to invent.

Senake Atureliya
Innovator & the author of Compopoly

Senake Atureliya, Buzz Technology Limited | Sat 7th Dec 2013 at 02:36

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How would this idea benefit the UK, bearing in mind that we are trying to promote ideas here that increase our competitive advantage in the global marketplace ? I don't think we can trust every other nation participating in this Utopian view to be 100% honest and open.
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Fri 10th Jan 2014 at 23:52

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Help from big companies

Give incentives to established companies like Harrods, Debenhams, Selridges, Liberty etc to stock more British made brands/products. This will give British product exposure as they attract a lot of international buyers.
Natoya Thomside, Christian Cathor Ltd | Fri 6th Dec 2013 at 23:08

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How would this be allowed under Competition Law imposed on us by the EC ? Subsidising anything is frowned upon. Better to take direct action against other EC member states who refuse to open their borders to our products, or impose punitive restrictions and tariffs.
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Fri 10th Jan 2014 at 23:54

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Addressing the problem of homelessness

There's two problems.

One, we need to address WHY people are forced to sleep rough and help create more opportunities to support the homeless.

I'd like to see more initiatives like those being trialled in Brighton, using shipping containers to make temporary housing communities. I think volunteering should be continually encouraged and grants given to catering/food businesses to recycle food (which is usually thrown away each night). I'd like to see funded temporary accommodation linked to job-seeking support and support in the form of education (classes) and ultimately, employability.

By the way, starting from Brighton station and walking to the seafront (under 1 mile) I was asked for money approximately 18 times. This is intrusive and in no way acceptable. At what point do we address the problem?

Jack Symons, Treetops BD | Fri 6th Dec 2013 at 11:32

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Food waste-Recyclying

Sadly British households throw away the equivalent of 6 meals per week.
Costing around £60 per month.

Our buying and eating habits are unsustainable and to put it simply unacceptable.

Their are people starving here in the UK and rest the world, yet we alone throw away an estimated 86 million chickens each year!

With one legislation we can reduce waste, increase the amount of people recycling and encourage a healthy balanced lifestyle by default.

Its time to take actions which support both businesses and the consumer, and provide fair and sustainable solutions.

People should be held accountable for their actions.

People who make an effort to live a sustainable healthy life should be acknowledged and rewarded as an incentive to others.

Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Fri 6th Dec 2013 at 02:35

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Promoting British Brands Internationally

It's hard for small comapnies to promote their business internationally because most literally don't have the budget. Over the years necessity has brought to the surface an array of skills showcasing lovely products made in the UK. Pop up Britain is doing a remarkable job but more needs to be done. The government need to set up a team that can help small business get the promotion the need to drive sales hence contributing to the economy. Provide funds for trade show in various countries etc. There is literally nothing to tap into and I honestly think more should be done.People's spiriti is broken when they're not seeing the results or level of success they expect due Insufficient help and support. If this happens people are not going to try and we're going to go back to square one.

Natoya Thomside, Christian Cathor Ltd | Fri 6th Dec 2013 at 01:49

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Absolutely - this ties in with Lu Li's post on British products and Chinese destination shopping - British products are seen as high quality but we need to become known for more than strawberries and shortbread. Manufacturing needs to be encouraged by government initiatives, support, purchasing managers/buyers and, ultimately, customers willing to pay a premium.

Jack Symons, Treetops BD | Fri 6th Dec 2013 at 11:21

I agree fully with you that British brands deserve a bigger and better platform than they currently have.

In particular online, as many international travellers do their research online before travelling to their vacation destinations. Also the Internet is a great place to promote local brands who do not have the capacity or funding to open up a store abroad to raise awareness among foreign consumers for the brand.

The government can definitely help, but small companies themselves also need to do their homework. A lot of shopper marketing activities can be done without an overflowing budget (again online)! So if you have a product that's good, you should be able to successfully market it to international customers, with or without help from the government.
Lu Li, House of Li | Fri 13th Dec 2013 at 14:08

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Money for Small Business-

there are a lot people with idea for start a business but it's difficult to find the funds to do that. So I think if there is more money available to people to start a business this will eventually help the economy to grow because people would have more spending power.
Natoya Thomside, Christian Cathor Ltd | Fri 6th Dec 2013 at 01:41

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I suggest that this proposal should be added to another here which is to resurrect the regional development agencies. They would be best placed locally to identify the validity of a proposal, could employ themselves local business consultants and mentors, and provide an independent critique of the business plans presented. If it looks suitable then they would have a de-centralised budget to spend on getting that business up and running.
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Sun 8th Dec 2013 at 21:51

You said it perfectly Simon I really agree with you!
Natoya Thomside, Christian Cathor Ltd | Sun 8th Dec 2013 at 22:47

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Sensible Business Rates

What are business rates based on the size of a property and not on what a business earns?

In some situations a large floor space is needed, it doesn't mean you are a large company!

This is just an unfair tax.
Phil Richardson, YellowMelen | Thu 5th Dec 2013 at 17:52

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Transform 1000 island and islets surrounding Great Britain into money.
Mak Tai Song T.S Mak, Phoebes Assets Management | Wed 4th Dec 2013 at 13:27

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How ? Who pays ? Transform into what ? This proposal needs a lot more detail. Islands have transport, utilities and communication issues, be they large or small.
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Sun 8th Dec 2013 at 22:05

More detail will provided to Lord Young, if being invited.

Mak from Phoebes
Mak Tai Song T.S Mak, Phoebes Assets Management | Wed 11th Dec 2013 at 00:30

Sorry Mak, I do agree with Simon, I am intrigued but have no idea what you are saying. the selection of those joining us with Lord Young is based around the clarity and practicality of the ideas
Duncan Cheatle, Prelude and The Supper Club | Fri 10th Jan 2014 at 16:44

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Allow Doctors the chance to use alternative therapies

As a clinical hypnotherapist I often see people who are on the waiting lists for counselling or CBT, but the NHS is so restrictive in it's use of therapies, if it were to allow more complementary therapies it would save them money in the long term - as therapists teach their clients to maintain good mental health, and it would increase employment for thousands of well trained therapists who have suffered in the economic down turn because no one can afford private healthcare.
Penny Ling, Penny Ling Hypnotherapy | Mon 2nd Dec 2013 at 17:51

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I waited 3 years for CBT.
I wanted CBT as I was gifted the stigma of being Mentally Ill.
I wanted CBT to try and think differently about a traumatic experience I had been involved In.
The accident was very bad, causing various physical problems and
The doctors, Councillors and specialists all agreed the way I felt is normal yet, because I will not change my views, or be happy about what happened, Im now severely depressed?

I wanted CBT because I do not need medication.

Although I respect the opinions of our doctors, there is no way in the world a questionnaire is sufficient to make a diagnosis and subscribe someone with a lifelong need for "happy pills".
Although Medication is a necessity in certain cases, only in the worse case scenarios should medication be used!

For example...
Besides the accident,
When I was 17, my best friend died. It broke my heart! I went to the doctors because I struggled for a a few weeks as this was the first time I'd experienced death.. In one appointment I was subscribed anti depressants.

My point is that we are all going to lose people, that is a fact.
We need to support and learn to deal with real feelings not mask them.
Maybe I felt like the world had ended and I'd never be happy again but to treat someone with a broken heart with pills is not sufficient. Within 3 months I had picked myself up and got myself a very good job in Barcelona.

Our mental health system and the way MH is diagnosed and treated needs addressing.

Medication is not something that should be thrown around!
Its expensive and the side effects they cause are a lot worse than what they say.

We run the risk of becoming a nation of drug dependent depressives!

Yes we are a struggling nation but not depressive.

People need to learn to understand themselves, how, why and what they feel and think. People with "mental health??" need to be listened to.

In support of your idea there definitely needs to be a better selection of treatment.

Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Tue 3rd Dec 2013 at 14:14

Penny, I agree hypnotherapy should be a therapy doctors could offer and I think this is reasonable. There must be a line must be drawn around other 'alternative' therapies. Homeopathy, for example, should never be prescribed/encouraged by doctors unless it's purely meant specifically for it's placebo effect. I'd also like to see the stigma around mental health reduced. Certainly in your case Terence, 'trait' depression and 'state' depression should have been better understood by your doctor and medication provided accordingly... glad you are better now.
Jack Symons, Treetops BD | Thu 5th Dec 2013 at 13:30

I totally agree that alternative therapies of all sorts should be made available to doctors to prescribe. Homeopathy has a place in these, as well as acupuncture and reflexology for example. Let's face it, a large number of the pills and potions prescribed these days are based on homeopathic methods.
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Sun 8th Dec 2013 at 22:22

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Eureka moments are rare. Breakthroughs in methods mainly occur through collaboration - from formal partnerships to picking up bright ideas from others. Many are prepared to share their information, especially if there's the chance of getting something interesting back.
Creating a business environment that is more collaborative and less competitive has benefits. The shared ideas come from operators, not academics, people who not only know the problems but are fully aware of the context.
My experience in creating a place where businesses share information goes back to 1992, and those involved are enthusiastic about the way it works. The concept could be rolled out to other industries, and also through the relevant government departments, but only if they are willing to facilitate. Departments concerned only in administration and government policy in the narrowest of interpretations may not have the flexibility to extend their remit to the sharing of ideas and methods among businesses in their sector.
My experience is that sharing innovative ideas within a business sector can be of benefit to all, in terms of efficiency and hence sustainability, employment and growth. Innovation is far more than acquiring patents and the protection of ideas.

Mike Donovan, MIDO Publications | Sat 30th Nov 2013 at 12:39

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Standardise house sale, remove solicitors and license estate agents

With faster, cheaper and easier house sales - it encourage people to move more often - which will hopefully lessen the strain on the infrastructure and raise tax income (stamp duty)

In my home country, house sales does not require the involvement of solicitors, so a house sale can be arranged and go through in days.

- What a house sale encompass is strictly regulated by law and a standarised proceedure. (what is included in a standard house sale - including key in the front door.)
- The buyer is protected by "consumer like" laws
- All paperwork is taken care of by the estate agent, who has to have an "estate agent drivers license" (3 months eductions I believe it is) For ex. all searches etc is done by the estate agent.
- A deposit is held by the estate agent when the offer is accepted.
- The seller cannot back out after he accepted the deposit UNLESS there are things showing up in the survey and seller/ buyer are unable to agree on a altered price.
- A buyer is protected against "Hidden faults" that the seller should have known about at the time, and omitted from enclosing in the specification for up to 10 years. (as a seller you can insure yourself against future claims)
- the parties (seller, buyer, estate agent bank manager) meet at the sellers mortage bank to sign the papers. The bank manager confirm that the funds has been transferred from the buyers bank, and the keys are handed over.

There are many benefits:
- speed (all parties are keen to get it done - seller, buyer and estate agent) No solicitors dragging their feets
- cheaper (no solicitors fees)
- less broken chains, guarantee more sales to go through.
- Banks are able to get better involved and can work together with both seller and buyer. (transfer mortgages for ex.)
- More Stamp duty paid.

Magnus Ahlberg, Performance Yoga Ltd | Fri 29th Nov 2013 at 16:36

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Change in the first past the post system & make up of parliament

Politics in Britain has changed massively over the years but the political system in the country has not.

Party membership is declining, most people do not trust MP's, and people are voting for people that they don't want.

How the voting system / parliament should be made up:

People should vote for a leader and his cabinet, separately from their local MP.

Anyone should be able to stand for election as Prime Minister if they can put together a predefined team who would make up the major roles in government i,e, Education Secretary etc.

This would allow the general public to vote for who they think is best suited to the job. Someone with experience in business would obviously be best for a role as Chancellor of the Exchequer, someone who has worked in a hospital would be best for Health Secretary and so on.

We would get the best people for the job and people can actually vote for who they want to run the country (which doesn't happen now).

You would then have MP's that represent local areas. These MP's would be independents so they have no allegiance to what different parties want, instead they do what would be in the best interests of their constituents.

This will give better representation to people, put more skilled ministers in government who should ultimately make better decisions and it will allow people to differentiate between who they want for their local MP and who they want running the country.

Daniel Hall, Veni Vidi Vici Ltd | Wed 27th Nov 2013 at 19:43

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Exactly what I've been saying fruitlessly for many years!
David Beacham, Cyclewirks | Thu 5th Dec 2013 at 11:55

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Legalise drugs for over 18's

The government would provide shops or give out licenses for companies to sell drugs. Before people can buy them they must provide their driving license or passport, along with a ‘drugs license photo card.’

Reason: Britain and the rest of the world have spent decades trying to stop illegal drug use in their countries and it hasn't worked. Professor Sir Ian Gilmore recommended in August 2010 that drugs should be legalised, as did the Channel 4 programme ‘Our Drugs War.’ If Britain can’t stop drug use then they should regulate it. By selling to people with drugs licenses the government can monitor who is using drugs, what drugs and how often. These people can then be given counselling if they need it or the government can take other preventative action. The government can also control what is put in drugs. This is good because drugs are less dangerous if they contain the true ingredients rather than substitutes such as rat poison.

The government can also control where the drugs come from this way rather than the proceeds going to the like of Al Qaeda.

There should also be less crime as a lot of gang crime is through the sale of drugs.

Savings would be made through:

Less customs staff needed to check for drugs through post and passengers entering the UK.

Less police time spent on catching drug dealers, drug smugglers and drug users
Less people in prison for drug offences and therefore less court costs and lower costs due to less prisoners to look after.

Daniel Hall, Veni Vidi Vici Ltd | Wed 27th Nov 2013 at 19:26

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Although I fundamentally approve of the legalisation in a bid to alleviate the crime that goes hand in hand with drugs, I think there are many other potentially unexpected outcomes with a legalisation policy. My view is that unless all of Europe passed similar policy to legalise, the UK may experience the same problem Amsterdam faces as a 'drug destination'. Perhaps there's an option which ensures if people (especially youth) wish to use drugs, there are quality control measures - I'm not sure how this would be managed though.
Jack Symons, Treetops BD | Thu 28th Nov 2013 at 13:42

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