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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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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Finishing school for university graduates

One of the biggest qualms for businesses is that graduates / college leavers that they employ have very few workplace skills.

A number of voluntary finishing schools around the UK could solve this problem.

They would only need to be a few weeks long but could teach essential skills like how to answer a phone correctly, how to take notes at a meeting and so on.

This would not only make graduates far more employable but it would reduce the time and cost for businesses to train up staff.

Daniel Hall, Veni Vidi Vici Ltd | Thu 20th Feb 2014 at 20:09

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Make University Sandwich Courses Mandatory

A university degree no longer makes a candidate stand out from the crowd with over 50% of young people opting to go university after studying at A Level.
Instead, employers are finding that the candidates have a wealth of theoretical knowledge that they have never put into practice and often struggle to adapt to real life business situations.

I believe that sandwich courses should be the degree standard - you study for two years, have a year in industry (full time and paid) and then go back to university to complete your final year. This allows students to put theory into practice, increase their skill set, build their CV and put themselves in good stead to get a job after graduating.

I completed a sandwich course and many SMEs were offering full time paid opportunities. I gained a huge amount of experience, paid off my overdraft during the year and subsequently was offered a job once I graduated.

This is a win-win for students and SMEs looking for a pool of fresh talent to hire from. If you are a business owner, get involved with universities in your area!

Gemma Roberts, The Supper Club | Wed 22nd Jan 2014 at 13:18

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Global business as a means of change

The brightest students are educated to work hard, get good grades, choose a profession and look for a well paid job.

Young people are increasingly challenging those ideals for their lives. Factors such as a greater freedom of information through the internet have led to greater social awareness.

Often this social awareness and resulting dissatisfaction is directed to lower impact activities.

I propose introducing business as a means of change from an early age.

Schools are beginning to encourage entrepreneurial mindsets by setting business challenges to sixth form students. I propose introducing these ideas to children in a structured manner, and much earlier.

Just as children study more traditional subjects from a young age while increasing the complexity over time, I propose the same for entrepreneurship education.

Unlike some more traditional subjects, business skills are best learned by practice. Classes where children are encouraged to spot opportunities in their local community would allow them to develop an enterprising mindset. Is the grass too long in local parks? Can we pay for it to be cut by selling the cut off to local shops as pet feed?

By working on toy challenges such as this for several years, by the time they reach GCSE or A level age the young people that feel passionately that air travel pollutes, for example, will strive to study engineering and start companies that commercialise cleaner technologies.

By fostering business as a means for global change from a young age we encourage more british people to found the global corporations of tomorrow and lead change in the world in a financially sustainable way.

Bilal Khan, Unii | Wed 15th Jan 2014 at 10:57

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Sorry but what do you mean by a structured manner? and how much younger
Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Fri 17th Jan 2014 at 14:31

To make business a force for good we need to concentrate teaching empathy while children are young to solve the social issues of tomorrow.
Then to make us the most enterprising and innovative nation we need to get the UK connected to the IoE and make Sustainability; Code; Data; Algorithms; entrepreneurship all part of the curriculum.



Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Sun 19th Jan 2014 at 05:18

As I understood this exercise in "Growth Britain", the proposals would/should be short, rather than long term and provide for tangible impact. While the sentiments contained are admirable, this proposal is not about to move Great Britain's growth needle appreciably in the near-term.
David Blumenstein, TECHGB | Sat 15th Feb 2014 at 11:07

Interesting and very similar to my idea submitted months ago regarding school banks as a means of teaching practical commerce to school-age children. Pity you didn't read that before submitting this.
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Fri 21st Feb 2014 at 14:10

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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, RajDhonota.com | Tue 14th Jan 2014 at 11:40

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Internship system over university

Many undergraduates do not enjoy studying for their degree. This is because they feel the subject matter does not apply to their lives after university. They also may not have any ideas or experience of jobs they could apply for after graduating. This creates an attitude of work being undesirable and unenjoyable.

Those who want to go into medicine, law, engineering etc, will obviously need specialist training at a college or university. But for the vast majority of other people, a degree is irrelevant and even a hindrance to finding meaningful employment.

An internship system should be implemented whereby all areas of the job sector provide a two-week internship for high-school graduates that are curious about that job. If they want to progress further, they would do a four- or five-month internship with the same company/service provider. Then they would apply for a job.

The contacts and experience gained through internships would enable a young person to decide what job they are best suited for. If, after a two-week or five-month internship they want to try another area, then they simply do another internship somewhere else.

Anyone interested in academia, particularly in the social sciences or humanities, should apply for a two-week position with the relevant academic scholar, in which they would be taught skills and work on a critical project.

In this way, young people will be able to choose their employment faster and more effectively than if they had done an irrelevant degree beforehand.

Zoe Coutts, University of Aberdeen | Sun 12th Jan 2014 at 20:19

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How would this be funded ? Having someone on an internship takes organisation, and can require things like increased insurance cover. How many of these could a young person take? This is in many ways similar to my proposal on educating careers officers.
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Tue 14th Jan 2014 at 00:45

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VAT free Shopping Days

Specify certain dates for VAT free shopping/dining/services. Throughout the year the govt can specify days on which items can be purchased VAT free.

For example if you make it shoes, you will get all the women/mothers out there, who will shop for other items upon which VAT would be charged. This also gives shops opportunities to move product that they might not be able to shift as easily via sales. It also brings more people into shopping areas/high streets, which means more money spent on transportation/petrol and food&drink. This can be done around multiple verticals and industries. This puts people in the frame of mind to purchase more because they see themselves saving what they would have spent on VAT. These days can be staggered throughout the year and be applied to industries who are especially feeling the pinch of the recession.

Bottom line is you get people out and about and puts money in circulation. There are a lot of High Streets around which would benefit from having consumers gently prodded in the right direction.

And yes while it does mean an up front hit to the government on VAT being collected, it does give the opportunity to shops to generate revenue and perhaps not have to lay off an employee or worse, go out of business.

This could be applied to Petrol where the Govt on certain weekends reduces the amount of tax on petrol, so petrol stations around the country roll back the cost per litre by whatever the decrease in the tax. In the States it was found that when petrol is less expensive, families go out in the cars and will go shopping, dining, etc … Bottom line: more money is spent.

These are fundamental growth opportunities which can be managed by the Government. It is like turning levers to “fine tune” the economy.

Why don’t you add these to the pot.
Now that I understand the short term/immediacy of it all, these suggestions better fit the bill.

David Blumenstein, TEWKWORKS | Sun 12th Jan 2014 at 18:12

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Increasing studying abroard

Early exposure to foreign countries and peoples make it easier later in life to want to do business there. Yet proportionately fewer UK students spend time abroad than almost any other European country. Fewer UK SME export, too, than other European countries - just 1 out of 5 according to BIS. Encouraging our young people to experience other countries and make friends will, in the long term, encourage trade and exports. Places to start would be to promote the ERASMUS programme better in Universities and encourage more work experience placements outside the UK.
David Frodsham, Little Venice Partners | Sun 12th Jan 2014 at 13:09

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Teacher training days - why ?

Otherwise known as Baker days after the education minister who introduced them, these days are tacked onto school holidays because teachers need to be trained. A very recent example locally: the children in our local primary school returned on the Tuesday not the Monday because the staff were being educated. No thought is given to the parents who had to return to work on that Monday and aren't afforded this day off. I'm sure time is precious, but teachers never had these days before Norman Bakers' stint, so do we really need them now in the 21st century with Internet and online learning available to all ?
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Sat 11th Jan 2014 at 00:20

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Skills & Training

Votes: 8 Dislikes: 4

Reinvent careers guidance and focus on ‘skills development’ for young Brits

1. There are 1.5 million young people out of work across the UK.

2. The UK’s creative industries (as listed by NESTA, including digital innovation) are booming and contribute hugely to the UK economy.

3. Careers advice neglects to help school leavers understand their options and the potential opportunities open to them across the entrepreneurial and creative sectors.

4. Apprenticeships and internships are regularly stated as highly beneficial to both employers and young people.

So..

Let’s make more positive, collaborative connections between the creative industries and young people nationwide.

Let’s challenge more creative and entrepreneurial businesses to introduce One More Desk into their studios.

Let’s reinvent what it means to provide school and college leavers with careers guidance, and turn it into ‘skills development’.

Let’s make it about new skills, new horizons and nurturing an enterprising, creative courage in young people to get out there and make something good.

***

2014 marks 100 years since the First World War, which resulted in a “lost generation”.

Let’s think creatively now, to avoid another lost generation.

Starting in 2014.

***

Lucy Johnston
Bright Young Brits
www.brightyoungbrits.org

Lucy Johnston, The Neon Birdcage / Bright Young Brits | Fri 10th Jan 2014 at 17:08

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This is a re-interpretation of one of my proposals from weeks ago, but thanks for expanding it Lucy.
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Tue 14th Jan 2014 at 00:48

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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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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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Student Loans repayment system

The current student loan system encourages earlier repayment based on income. Designed to be deducted at source and paid monthly. Many entrepreneurs will have a catalogue of debts, income streams, unexpected bills, taxes and cashflow issues at the beginning of their business journey.

The current system is not flexible in aiding the entrepreneur during startup or expansion and not well understood.

If we are to encourage todays students who are already feeling the pressure of the student loan system to start businesses we need to add felxibility to the repayment system at a bare minimum.

Gary Smith, Prism | Tue 7th Jan 2014 at 18:58

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This is conceptually a good idea, but nowhere do you actually say how you want to do this? Buying years of repayment delay for extra interest payments or a higher rate?, is that what you're thinking ?
Simon Clark, SJC Systems Limited | Fri 10th Jan 2014 at 23:35

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Infrastructure

Votes: 24 Dislikes: 4

Develop and widen UK (3G/4G) signal coverage

No part of this small island should be without usable signal. Solid signal is essential for on-the-fly business and the mobile networks in the South East (including Vodafone, Three and Orange) are extremely sketchy. When I travel to Norway I find my Vodafone phone picks up much better signal than when I'm at home on the South Coast (UK). We need to work on improving signal and rectifying 'dead zones' in and around the UK. Customers can do this by supporting high growth areas in this space (4G/5G); industry can help by the reinvestment of profits into infrastructure and government can assist with initiatives, if necessary. Once again, it's a small island and this should be a relatively simple problem to solve!
Jack Symons, Treetops BD | Wed 1st Jan 2014 at 23:03

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I agree that mobile signal is vital to effective communication (in life and business). In particular I thing the government should insist that as part of their license mobile carriers should ensure decent coverage on all main transportation routes. It is ridiculous that business calls can't be made from trains on main routes connecting out of London
Duncan Cheatle, Prelude and The Supper Club | Fri 10th Jan 2014 at 11:56

Absolutely, it's important that mobile phones are, in fact, mobile.
Jack Symons, Treetops BD | Thu 16th Jan 2014 at 14:53

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Infrastructure

Votes: 357 Dislikes: 49

Legalise Cannabis

Currently the war on drugs is being lost and to be honest cannabis should not be involved in this war at all.

Cannabis could help grow the British economy.

It will create jobs, take away the unjust stigma, can easily be regulated, is taxable and would also help British agriculture and the high street.

With a simple system we could create a sustainable eco friendly business that benefits the UK economy and culture.


Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Sat 21st Dec 2013 at 18:34

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In Britain, CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform is working to end the stupid and unwinnable war against cannabis and cannabis users. The £500 million we spend every year on cannabis law enforcement is causing far more harm to our communities than it prevents.

Illegal cannabis farms destroy rented property, steal electricity, exploit human trafficked gardeners and blight communities with street dealing. There has been a massive increase in the last few years. 7,660 were discovered in 2010/11 and there is no sign of any slowing down. Cannabis prices have escalated to nearly £15 per gram.

CLEAR has proposed a properly regulated system of production and supply which would minimise all these problems and create thousands of new jobs. We'd have no more dealers on the streets. Cannabis would be available to adults only through licensed outlets and we'd have some control over its content and who it is sold to.

Doctors would be able to prescribe one of the most effective medicines that has no serious side effects at all. At the moment the government has given GW Pharmaceuticals an unlawful monopoly on cannabis so they export Sativex all over the world at a vastly inflated price when anyone can grow the equivalent at home for pennies.

A legally regulated system would solve nearly all the problems around cannabis. Science proves how much safer it is than tobacco, alcohol, all prescription and OTC medicines. More than that, experts now recognise that for most adults, in moderation, cannabis is actually good for you. It acts as a supplement to the endocannabinoid system and helps to protect against autoimmune conditions such as diabetes and cancer. It is also neuroprotective and helpful in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

CLEAR published independent, expert research in 2011 which shows that a tax and regulate policy on cannabis would produce a net gain to the UK economy of up to £9.3 billion per annum.

Peter Reynolds, CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform | Sat 21st Dec 2013 at 20:11

Thank you for the comments Peter.
I hope my initiative can support yours in the near future.
Please share and vote.
Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Sun 22nd Dec 2013 at 03:26

So how can CLEAR support you on this?

I see this idea has more support than any other. Often the case when the public are asked for the law reform they would most like to see. When it comes to it though, just as with Obama's online Q&As, the subject always gets dismissed as if it's something trivial.

Forgive my cynicism but Lord Young isn't going to invite anyone to discuss this round the table at No 10.

Why? Because Cameron and the government have no valid argument against it. Cannabis prohibition is based on lies, misinformation and a corrupt relationship with the press and GW Pharmaceuticals. That's why the only way they can deal with the issue is by ignoring it or trying to ridicule it.

Government ministers are quite blatant about it. In writing they simply refuse AS A MATTER OF POLICY to meet anyone campaigning for cannabis law reform..

The only way we will overturn this absurd policy is either through the courts or when the USA's far more effective democracy has legalised in so many states that it can no longer be ignored.


Peter Reynolds, CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform | Sun 22nd Dec 2013 at 15:13

Peter.

I respect your opinion.

In response to your comments, I'm not campaigning for a cannabis law reform, Only presenting a feasible way I could make Britain more enterprising and present a variety of innovative ideas to back this up.
If it is this idea that has the best contribution or creates the biggest impact and gets me to Parliament, it will be on my agenda to discuss these possibilities as we both know it is one feasible way to Grow the British Economy and I would like to hear their opinion due to a long-lived interest on this matter.

Honestly though, It will take far more than one idea to grow our economy, we need to prepare for and find solutions to various major issues we face and my ideas address some of the most serious problems, presenting viable solutions.

Please take a look at these ideas;

http://www.growthbritain.co.uk/index.php?i=90
http://www.growthbritain.co.uk/index.php?i=105
http://www.growthbritain.co.uk/index.php?i=104
http://www.growthbritain.co.uk/index.php?i=103

These are sustainable, innovative and feasible ideas I have entered and wish to present to Lord Young.
As such In the nature of this opportunity i'm merely using democracy to gain support and the opportunity to present these ideas which may not be as popular in terms of votes as this or some other ideas, but in terms of feasibility and growth, are far more realistic and appealing to the Government which your comments outline.

If you could share this with your followers and get your followers to vote, this will help us both as you will have published data to quantify the importance of what you are doing and it will help me present various sustainable Business ideas to make Great Britain. Growth Britain.



Thank you for the comments and contribution.
Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Mon 23rd Dec 2013 at 03:58

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Infrastructure

Votes: 19 Dislikes: 13

Make The UK a 4 or 5 centre economy

Currently our economy is very heavily focussed on London and the south east, areas where continued sustainable growth is becoming restricted by infrastructure and space. one of the key differentiators between the UK and other major economies is that for example the USA, China, Japan, Germany all have a multi-centred economy.

Only through the development of the economies of the midlands, the north west, the north east, south wales and central Scotland can we reduce over-reliance on London and the south east. then we can look at the map of the UK in a different geographic economic context: fast rail to London, or new runways at Heathrow might be de-prioritised in favour of the development of infrastructure to support industrial development in the North East, or fast inter-city rail between Newcastle and Liverpool.

if we continue to look at the map of the UK economically as the BBC represents it in weather forecasts, we will continue to have a divided economy and will miss out on the opportunity to focus more of our economic development on the part of Europe that started entrepreneurialism.

Dan Sutherland, Carrenza | Fri 20th Dec 2013 at 18:26

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I agree with putting emphasis elsewhere than London but how do you support industrial development? and is inner-city rail not going to be a costly and timely plan such as HS2?

Terence Barnett, FestiveFridays | Sat 21st Dec 2013 at 15:44

The way you support any other sector, by providing funding, incentives and help to viable projects. You misread me, I said intercity rail, yes expensive, but essential for a multi-centre economy to work.
Dan Sutherland, Carrenza | Thu 26th Dec 2013 at 00:11

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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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