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.

Encourage a new wave of 'few strings' investment in startups & growth business

Let's encourage a new and permanent step change in the amount of risk capital available to start ups and growth businesses by allowing ventures to raise money from the public without only bring able to approach sophisticated investors without going through an expensive and limiting FCA regulated advisor.

If we allow entrepreneurs to promote their ventures without holding them back, this will grow risk capital - and reduce the costs of raising it.

Of course some investors will lose money but many will win, encouraging a risk friendly environment.

The govt can help encourage investors too by putting the clear benefits of EIS and SEIS investments in every annual tax correspondence to anyone in the higher rate of tax and / or anyone who has incurred high capital gains. This will encourage asset rich people to invest in growth companies rather than property or shares in the main stock markets, who have no capital raising issues and create fewer new jobs/value.

It's crazy that promoting gambling on TV is legal but promoting investing to the public not!

Let's change this in 2014. It can be done quickly and and at no capital cost or delay, encourage an nation to entrepreneurs and venture investors. Go Growth Britain!

Alex Cheatle, Ten Group | Thu 9th Jan 2014 at 17:27

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Is this crowd funding by another name ? And you want the public to be able to invest without reference to a regulated entity, be that an advisor or broker? No recourse presumably to the FSCS or FOS when the company goes belly up ? Where are the safeguards for the public?

Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Fri 10th Jan 2014 at 23:33

Echoing Simon's thoughts above: How is this different from crowdfunding? What more is there to do? The public at large has bigger issues on their plate than considering whether or not to put valuable savings and what discretionary income they might have on speculative start-ups and emerging businesses. Has crowdfunding failed?
David Blumenstein, TECHGB | Sat 15th Feb 2014 at 11:12

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Living Costs for Founders to be an essential

Many entrepreneurs who manage to secure funding are usually subjected to tough regulations that do not include the consideration of living costs for Founders.

For an idea to succeed there needs to maximum input from the Founders even if this is for a brief period but will be beneficial for developing ideas without interruption.

The way to go about this is working with private and public firms to make supporting founders a key part of the funding process rather than just the company assets.

Kimberly Dickson, Support Young Talent | Wed 8th Jan 2014 at 15:22

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Promoting innovation

It’s great to see the Government support entrepreneurs but I feel that more could be done to unlock Britain’s potential to develop new markets.

Entrepreneurs drive markets but it’s innovators who create them. The Government could better support Britain’s patented innovations that face difficult challenges, often disruptive to established markets, that one day may help us achieve our global challenges.

One example of how the Government could do more to help is to foster outcome based policies such as the Longitude Act of 1714 where, against all odds, a carpenter developed the working marine chronometer and solved an age old problem of accurate navigation at sea that gave us significant global presence.

I feel that Britain is now in need of a new Longitude Act, one that focuses on innovation such as in energy efficiency as ‘heat and eat’ will become ever more centre stage in our national agenda as resource competition from emerging countries will increase energy and food costs that lower our competitive advantage.

Today, Britain seems tied to policies that over regulate and stifle innovations at the very time when we need to free the brakes and open competition to drive investment in new understanding that forms the basis of patented intellectual property.

As a serial inventor of patented technology in energy efficiency I have significant experience in working with regulators and Government who are aware of the barriers and while some progress has been made, much more could be done to increase Britain’s chances of maintaining its lead in global technology and knowledge.

I would like to offer my support in joining the Growth for Britain debate and hope my experiences might help us all achieve our goals.

Chris Farrell
Zenex Technologies Ltd.

Chris Farrell, Zenex Technology Ltd | Tue 17th Dec 2013 at 12:25

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Regulate 'CHUGGING'

Regulate (3rd party) 'chugging' or 'charity mugging'.

These parasitic organisations latch onto the branding of charities and hassle people on the street, getting people to sign up to various standing order/direct debits, often trading on distress and concern. Very little of the money tends to reach the charity as 'admin costs' are soaked up by these rapacious organisations/businesses. Not only is this problematic and annoying for the people (usually on their way home from a hard day's work) but it also tarnishes the reputation of the charity itself.

Usually they employ 'charmers' to sweet talk people into donating. Don't smile at me if all you want is my money. It's offensive and repulsive. I'd like to see these regulated better and ensure a set of etiquette/practices is enforced because these days I find myself zig-zagging to avoid being 'caught' when walking down the street.

Sorry, bit of a rant.

Jack Symons, Treetops BD | Fri 6th Dec 2013 at 11:40

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I realise I've put forward a problem and hardly attempted to provide a solution. I think there's room for new business models and funding sources for the charity space - Kiva is excellent for micro-investment, perhaps we'll see more peer-to-peer and direct-to-charity startups emerging as charities increasingly rely on donations.

Jack Symons, Treetops BD | Fri 6th Dec 2013 at 18:28

The issue Jack is partly that some organisations need to do this to raise funds because their investments and/or funding streams have failed in recent years. It is an issue as you rightly identify.

Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Sun 8th Dec 2013 at 21:46

... at a very high cost to society (£46bn). From a business perspective, understandable. Can't think of many businesses as profitable as gambling (especially as gamblers spend high amounts and then deny to themselves how much they 'really' lost!) It's the perfect business. But taking such disproportionate amounts out of the economy and into the hands of businesses banking and regulated offshore is disastrous for the UK economy.
Jack Symons, Treetops BD | Mon 9th Dec 2013 at 10:58

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Internet Security-better Banking

This is the last idea I can to share to Grow Britain.

This idea is to completely secure internet.
Then make banking instant!

The cost of online fraud in the UK is a staggering £76 billion each year..

The banking system also needs a face-lift! Consumers need better control, transparency and a personal experience.

Securing the internet may save us 76bn, but if we can lead by example it could easily become a global plan which will eradicate online fraud, child exploitation, terrorism, human trafficking, child exploitation, online bullying, fraud any other malicious or illegal activity people use it for!

Our Global community and Economy
depends on the internet, this idea is very simple and basic. we must Do this!

If anybody can give me a reason why this shouldn't happen please comment!

if you cant then like, share and please support this.

Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Fri 6th Dec 2013 at 11:08

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This is hardly new or innovative. The internet is too far reaching for one company to do this. Google, Microsoft and a number of other multinationals are tackling this issue already, however with specific country controls in place it is very difficult.
Greg Hodson, Retrobluehawk | Fri 20th Dec 2013 at 08:50


The problem is not new or innovative I admit.

Who ever else is trying to solve this, I support and would also happily work with them. When you are Growing Britain, running a business, fighting Crime or securing the internet its never going to be one person, one company or one country that makes it happen.

We need to work together to make anything happen.

I can confidently say this is the most innovative idea on this website.
It will not just grow our economy it will make us the leaders and change the world.

This is new-innovative-viable-implementable.

Are you saying because others are failing to do this Its incomprehensible to you that I can?
Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Sat 21st Dec 2013 at 15:10

The Internet is not ours alone. Just because Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented it doesn't make it British to control or police. There are secure networks in place already that don't use the Internet. Consider just how expensive it would be to validate every single connection, every single piece of data travelling over the wires and fibres? It would be a gargantuan task. Now whether you might argue that the NSA are already doing some of that is another matter. But then think, to make something totally secure, who is going to police it? The UN ? They can't even agree to condemn the actions of a rogue state upon their own people. What would be the right of appeal if your site or connection were refused? And who would pay? Your cost-saving of 76bn would evaporate rapidly.
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Sat 11th Jan 2014 at 00:00

I respect your comments but we as end user control the internet.
I'm no expert in this field but every connection needs to be validated, this in order to connect.
While the Internet does not belong to us, Growth Britain is about making Britain the most enterprising nation in the World. I think if we can solve one of the biggest problems the world faces we can do that.
It really is not that complicated.

Can I ask you If my site or connection was refused now, who would pay?

Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Sat 11th Jan 2014 at 01:37

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Dog owning and dog waste.

Dogs owners should require compulsory insurance, registration and periodic contributions.

This small payment and set of strict rules will discourage irresponsible ownership, cruelty, illegal breading and will clean up our streets and neighborhoods.

Dogs are animals that need to be treated with respect, they need to be looked after and the owners need to act responsibly.

There is a value to most things.

Dog poo is a sustainable source of energy.

Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Fri 6th Dec 2013 at 02:51

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I don't disagree with your sentiments but do wonder how this would be implemented.
Sally Guyer, The Cambridge Raincoat Company | Fri 6th Dec 2013 at 05:40

The foundations are in-place already, its making this attractive to all by which it will be implemented.
Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Fri 6th Dec 2013 at 20:30

Great idea, perhaps you are on the wrong website.
Greg Hodson, Retrobluehawk | Fri 20th Dec 2013 at 08:54

Thank you Greg.
I'm sure im in the right place though as it will be the government I need to get
Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Sat 21st Dec 2013 at 14:21

...this initiative moving rolled out.
Where would you recommend I go?
Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Sat 21st Dec 2013 at 14:30

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Wonga, QuickQuid: 5000% interest rates?!

I understand how an organisation offering a few hundred pounds in an emergency is a reasonable thing. I understand charging a premium for this service is also reasonable (there's inherent risk). Up to 5000% interest is not reasonable.

I do not understand how these rapacious 'loansharks' manage to exist when they should be under much stricter regulation. My guess is it comes down to kickbacks and lobbying...

What really puts my back up is when they [Wonga] disingenuously claim that a large percentage of people borrowing at exorbitant rates are borrowing because 'they need food' or 'need to pay a bill' - no, usually people are borrowing because they've spent all their money shopping, gambling or being feckless and as a result, need money for food/bills, etc.

I think these sharks prey on the weak and could very easily cap the amount payable by, say 100% of the original investment at the MAXIMUM.

As a taxpayer, I'd be happy to help people who NEED short-term help in the form of food stamps, bills, rent, etc. but I'd like these private 'debt-creators' regulated more strictly.

Quite simply... do they do more harm than good? Yes.

Jack Symons, Treetops BD | Thu 5th Dec 2013 at 13:55

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Whilst not wishing to defend this type of service and their high interest rates, it would be a lot simpler to manage if they were forced to improve their customer fact-find, and then share that with a central register.

As a tax-payer, I'm not happy helping those who cannot manage their own financial affairs with a hand-out. That's not a sustainable method of stopping them re-offending because they know the nanny state will always be there as their lifeline.
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Sun 8th Dec 2013 at 21:56

I understand (and partly agree) but I think a basic level of welfare (perhaps some form of food stamps which work for a specific supermarket range - minus the cigarettes and alcohol) would be a reasonable compromise? I do think these existing platforms are beyond horrible and I'd like to see them pave the way for more ethical alternatives along the lines of peer-to-peer lending at more reasonable interest rates. Or none at all? This could work like Kiva where there is no interest so honour (along with field partners) ensures a very high payback rate.
Jack Symons, Treetops BD | Mon 9th Dec 2013 at 11:02

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Tougher regulation on betting terminals

I read yesterday that us Brits pump over £46bn a year into betting terminals. The problem with this is:

1. Gambling addiction has never been harder to crack when accessibility to gambling is so easy: online, betting shops, casinos.

2. Fixed odds betting terminals are a common tool used for laundering 'dirty' money - organised crime, disorganised crime, etc.

I'm not saying a bit of gambling can't be fun (and I do like playing poker) but these terminals/machines are the 'crack cocaine' of gambling and I suggest we crack down on such a damaging and threatening problem.

Jack Symons, Treetops BD | Thu 5th Dec 2013 at 13:45

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The draft Gambling Bill in Ireland bans them completely. It would be appropriate for our Government to do the same. However there is recent independent research that questions the problems that they allegedly cause. And let's not forget: a bit of self-control is all that is needed. If you don't use the machine it doesn't cause a problem.
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Sun 8th Dec 2013 at 21:58

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Paying invoices

The government pays its suppliers within 10 days, why cant all major companies do that? Or at least 28 days. It would save large costs in chasing and fending off by both parties. And put cashflow into the financial system of SMEs very rapidly without bank loans
Peter Massey, Budd UK Ltd | Tue 26th Nov 2013 at 23:06

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Support for SMEs in Filing International Patents

There should be some financial support to help small business file international patents. The cost is often prohibitive for a star up to get an international patent yet unprotected the intellectual property gets lost and thus the opportunity to export a unique product . A committee could review the patent application and decide if its worthy of a grant towards the legal fees . With financial support to file international patents, start-ups will be able to punch above their weight and export their products at a far earlier stage than many of them typically do.
Cecile Reinaud, Seraphine | Thu 21st Nov 2013 at 11:20

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Similar to expanding R&D tax credits (above). So I repeat my comment here, that we could use the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme, up to say £50k, to fund this.
Malcolm Durham, Flexible Directors Ltd | Thu 5th Dec 2013 at 12:18

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Reward Smaller Entrepreneurs

Look at the Honours system to reward smaller Entrepreneurs. Big is statistically significant but creating something small/medium is a pre-requisite and takes vision and tenacity with fewer material rewards and this is often overlooked. Maybe if people were rewarded at this stage they would get fresh energy to stay for the longer term?
Malcolm Durham, DFM t/a Flexible Directors (Ltd) | Wed 20th Nov 2013 at 18:42

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Not sure abut the Honours system - a suggestion would be to use this idea but recognise the risk taken by entrepreneurs in employing people. More employment creates more tax take so let the corporation tax be better used to employ people rather than sucking cashflow out of the business
Peter Massey, Budd UK Ltd | Tue 26th Nov 2013 at 22:52

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Revise Tenants Rights

Revise the legislation relative to tenants rights for commercial property. The UK system is the worst one compared to the rest of Europe and America: UK tenants have very little rights and in particular the 5 years rent review system which allow the landlord to increase rent without any relation to the economic and inflation indicators and can only be resolved via the lengthy and costly process of an arbitrator. This Leads to retailers having to exit the stores and contributing to the death of the high street
Cecile Reinaud, Seraphine | Wed 20th Nov 2013 at 17:43

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Ensure Entry Through Customs Takes Less Than 15 Minutes

This first impression is an easy way to ‘sell Britain’ to all our visitors rather than infuriate and demoralise them due to lack of resource. Let’s make the experience of entering and leaving our country quick and enjoyable. It’s the first and last experience of our national brand.
Duncan Cheatle, Prelude and The Supper Club | Tue 19th Nov 2013 at 10:02

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Agree, dressing people up in stern looks and writing BORDER CONTROL in the biggest letters possible doesn't create a good first impression. We can do it right without being officious eg Olympics
Peter Massey, Budd UK Ltd | Tue 26th Nov 2013 at 23:01

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Extend Entrepreneurs Relief

This system doesn't encourage those adept at scaling great businesses to continue beyond a valuation of £10million, when entrepreneurs relief no longer applies. It encourages people to sell up. Incentivise them to carry on growing and creating jobs.This system doesn't encourage those adept at scaling great businesses to continue beyond a valuation of £10million, when entrepreneurs relief no longer applies. It encourages people to sell up. Incentivise them to carry on growing and creating jobs.
Toby Baxendale, Seafood Holdings Ltd | Tue 19th Nov 2013 at 09:50

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