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A Diverse Economy—Diverse Business Models

Successful economies take many forms, fostering growth and entrepreneurship across a range of business models. The UK today has around 4.5m businesses which employ 23 million people. Most of these (90 per cent) are small enterprises with fewer than 50 employees. What is less well known, however, is that business takes many legal forms. These range from sole proprietorships (2.8 million ) to partnerships (450,000), and limited companies (1.3 million).

Whatever their model, all business must compete, not just at home, but internationally for their goods and markets. Government policy can make a huge difference to whether business can compete successfully at home and abroad and grow without the burdens and costs that can hold back success. With Recovery and Growth at the centre of the policy agenda, what steps are needed to encourage the different UK business models?

On 19th March, Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP, Minister for Government Policy at the Cabinet Office, spoke at Politeia on A Diverse Economy—Diverse Business Models as part of Politeia’s Recovery and Growth Series.

This event was kindly supported by the John Lewis Partnership

Economics V Politics in Obama's USA—Will the politicians get in the way of US growth?

As Barack Obama begins his second term at the White House, US economic data suggests the economy may grow relatively rapidly by the end of 2013.

But, as Dr Irwin Stelzer explained, much will depend on what the politicians do. Will they avoid creating still more problems? And what about 'all those dollars' being printed to target unemployment? Dr Irwin Stelzer discussed what impact that will have over the long term, and on the new regime at the Bank of England.

Commercialising Scientific Inventions

UK scientists and scholars have often led their fields in research and discovery, breaking new ground in countless fields. It is, however, often contended that, as a country, the UK lags behind others in exploiting such success to commercial or entrepreneurial gain. The Coalition is keen to encourage scientific research and its development commercially. But is it going about it the right way, or do the policies need to change?

On Wednesday 6th March, Sir Gregory Winter, Master of Trinity College Cambridge and Deputy Director of the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology, addressed Politeia's Recovery and Growth series.

He discussed how scientists approach their work and what matters for success over the short and long term, with special regard to the pharmaceutical industry. He also considered how such discoveries might best be commercialised, discussing the ways in which government policy could help.

Cutting Tax—and Costs—to Business

The debate in the UK has intensified over how best to promote economic growth. But there is strong common ground on the need to promote business and to cut the burdens which stifle enterprise, investment and employment. Without this UK businesses and employers will be held back from investing in future prosperity.

On  Thursday 28th February,  Politeia  and The TaxPayers’ Alliance joined forces to consider how some of the fundamental questions of tax, regulation and costs should be tackled, if businesses are to flourish and grow. David Gauke MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury set out the Government's policy.

Two distinguished economists took up the themes and considered the economic case for reform: Dr Ludger Schuknecht, whose Politeia study Going for Growth shows how fiscal and structural reform can succeed, and Allister Heath who chaired the TPA's 2020 Tax Commission, which proposed a strategy of lower, simpler transparent taxation.

Speakers considered such questions as:

  • How can HMG promote growth and business recovery?
  • What policies most effectively help business by reducing burdens and costs?
  • What economic framework best helps business?
  • What lessons can be learnt from overseas success stories?

Recovery and Growth: Best for the UK, Best for London?

As western economies aim for growth and recovery, Politeia's series focused on the UK and the City of London at the event, hosted by the City of London Corporation on Thursday 7th February.

On the topic spoke Dr Gerard Lyons, Chief Economic Adviser to The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, Lord McFall, Chairman, Treasury Select Committee, 2001-2010, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Founding Partner, Somerset Capital Management, and Scott Cochrane, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills.*

 Speakers considered such questions as:

  • What lessons can Britain learn from the global economy?
  • What course is needed for UK recovery and for the City to retain its global lead?
  • What role can the City play in the UK's recovery?
  • What direction should the law take when it comes to the regulation of financial services?

What course is needed if the UK is to remain a focus for global business and the City to keep it leading position as a world financial hub? What lessons can be learned from successful economies overseas? What global trends should be taken into account if the UK economy is to recover, grow and compete in the future?

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