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The Entrepreneurial Gene was Dormant... Now it’s Lit

21/11/2016 By Simon La Fosse

Simon La Fosse on why the PM should embrace current tax schemes to maintain an entrepreneurial revolution.

Over the past few months Theresa May has frequently put herself forward as a champion of the British economy, asserting that the Tories will remain “the party of enterprise” [1] and that she wants to “get the whole economy firing” [2].  This is of course encouraging, however, I’m increasingly concerned that the tone in government is becoming anti-business and pro “the people” - without much understanding of the link between the two. 
An important example is their informal views on SEIS/EIS and Entrepreneurs Relief, which they appear to regard simply as a tax break that has benefited a few wealthy investors and entrepreneurs. 
The reality is that these schemes have encouraged people to take their cash out of safe savings accounts and get it to work in successful young companies - companies that they might otherwise have never got off the ground. The funds were not going to come (and rightly so) from the government and they certainly weren't going to come from the banks.
In my view this has been the single most vital factor in turning the UK into a leading force in Europe for entrepreneurial and start-up activity in the past few years. The tens of thousands of jobs it's already created and subsequent ecosystem will be historically important, I believe, in years to come. 
As traditional industries continue their inexorable decline we're starting to create our share of the Apples, Amazons and Facebooks of the future. For once we look as if we have started to possess some of the entrepreneurial DNA that has allowed the US to rapidly become the world's largest economy. It appears that the entrepreneurial gene in the UK was simply dormant and through inspired government-created schemes the touch paper has been lit - without costing the taxpayer a penny. It's been a revelation to me that the government has been able to facilitate such a potentially seismic change in our economic future with a couple of well thought-through investment incentives.

In Theresa's first speech she talked passionately about the good that government can do and that's a great position to take. However, I would respectfully ask her to consider first all the good that her government is already doing and ensure that this is simply allowed to continue.  
Simon La Fosse is CEO of La Fosse Associates, one of the UK’s fastest growing recruitment companies. They have also been voted in the top 15 Sunday Times Best Companies to Work for in the UK for the last four years in a row.




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