the Business Forum and
the Economic Partnership
in Brighton & Hove
Homepage    BCRP Intranet    Funding    Events    Knowledgebase    Links    About us     Contact us
Key projects



Workforce development 


Business &

Property &
Development sites




Consultation opportunities

Brighton & Hove Business Forum
8-11 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 01273 735442
Email: info@brighton

© Brighton & Hove
Business Forum

News - 12 August 2005
Sir Digby Jones, Director-General of the CBI

Government fails small businesses

The Government has failed to hit the majority of its targets to stimulate and encourage the development of small businesses. A new report from the CBI shows that small businesses are being let down by the organisation that was set up to help them.

Five years ago the Government pledged to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business by 2005. Now CBI analysis of its efforts reveals that four of the seven targets set by the Government's Small Business Service to deliver this have been missed.

Small businesses are responsible for creating half of all UK jobs and GDP and their growth plays a key part in securing future economic success. Yet increasing regulation and uncoordinated delivery of Government support means - despite stable economic conditions - this is not happening.

Sir Digby Jones, Director-General of the CBI, said, "The Government was right to set up the Small Business Service and right to set it clear targets. But with more than half the targets missed it is clear more effort and coordination is needed across Government - especially to ensure that the work of the SBS is not undermined by other departments in Whitehall.

"The SBS is not to blame for these results. How can an enterprise economy break through when the Government presides over systemic, stifling red tape, a discredited planning regime and a society that becomes more politically correct and risk-averse by the day?”

Two years after it was launched the SBS set seven strategic themes to drive its work:

  • To build an enterprise culture (failed);
  • to make it easier to start up a firm (achieved);
  • to encourage entrepreneurs in disadvantaged areas and by under-represented groups (failed);
  • to make Government more accessible and helpful (achieved);
  • to improve regulation (failed);
  • to improve access to funding (achieved)
  • and to create a positive environment for growth (failed).

More people are setting up their own businesses but fewer are going on to achieve real growth.

The CBI, which speaks for 200,000 smaller businesses, has found:

  • More and more red tape has been introduced since 2000, with businesses citing it as a major obstacle to growth.
  • Whilst progress has been made to help businesses access finance many still struggle to find affordable or appropriate sources of capital.
  • Fewer bosses are taking on employees, in particular as a result of concern about employment legislation. Since 1999, whilst the number of businesses in the UK has grown from 3.7 million to 4.1 million, the number of companies with staff fell from 1.35 million to 1.23 million - reflecting an increasing proportion of 'one-man-bands' (71% of businesses).
  • Fewer adults and young people consider going into business now than in 2000 with the numbers of woman, black or Asian entrepreneurs increasing at a slower rate than the national average.
  • A third of Britons say they would not start their own business because of fear of failure, compared to one in five in the US.
  • Whilst businesses report better state help and advice there are still nearly 3,000 Government programmes available, with fundamental problems of duplication, confusion and inconsistency.
  • Large regional discrepancies in business start-up rates remain. The rate in London is 62 per 10,000 people, compared to 21 in the North East, 29 in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, 34 in Yorkshire/Humberside, 35 in the North West, 37 in the Midlands, 40 in the South West, 42 in the East of England and 47 in the South East. England as a whole averages 42 whilst the overall UK average is 40.

Read related items on:
Jones, Digby

Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


14 March 2018
Better Business for All Event with BEIS
7 March 2018
Brighton celebrates women in tech as Spring Forward festival returns for a fourth year 6 March 2018
Six months of success for BTN BikeShare 2 March 2018
Sustainability in Action masterclasses for Sussex businesses 2 March 2018
Doing Business in China comes to Brighton 1 March 2018
Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce presents: Protecting your brand- a guide for fast growth businesses 1 March 2018
Long haul passengers boost local economy and jobs, according to new Gatwick report on the 'Visitor Economy' 28 February 2018
Save time reporting crime 27 February 2018
Warren Morgan Resigns from Brighton & Hove City Council 23 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company, Paxton Ranks in Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 23 February 2018
Greater Brighton's Commercial Property Database 22 February 2018
SE-ASSIST - Launch of Loan Capital in Greater Brighton 19 February 2018
House Price update Q4 2017 19 February 2018
What would you do in a crisis? 19 February 2018
The investment journey for high growth entrepreneurs 9 February 2018
Make Change Count 2018 - helping rough sleepers in Brighton & Hove 8 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company Paxton Announces Recipients of New Scholarship Programmein Association with the University of Brighton 8 February 2018
Cyber London Accelerator Invites Summer 2018 Entries 8 February 2018
Innovate UK Launches Strand 2 Emerging and Enabling Technologies Sector Competition 8 February 2018
Success In Sussex As Food And Drink Heroes Crowned Winners 8 February 2018
UK Games Fund - Fourth Round Open to Applications 8 February 2018
Innovate UK & Prince's Trust Launch Young Innovators' Programme 6 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership launches 'Kit Out The Kitchen' crowdfunding campaign 2 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Council and Crest Nicholson win £15m government funding to kickstart King Alfred project 1 February 2018
Could a Utilise Plus Programme grant help you? 1 February 2018
Shoreham Port Facilitates Huge Operation 18 January 2018
IUK Announces Collaborative R&D Funding for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Simulation 18 January 2018
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Launches $1 Billion Corporate Venture Capital Fund for Next Generation Mobility 17 January 2018
PORTlife #17 Newsletter Out Now 17 January 2018
Over £19,000 raised for Burning the Clocks 2017 11 January 2018
Brighton Main Line Improvement Project: Planned closures in October 2018 and February 2019 11 January 2018
Come on in! Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 8 January 2018
Sussex Business SkillSnap targets hospitality industry skill shortage 3 January 2018
House Price update 2017 Q3 20 December 2017
£14.35 Million European Regional Development Fund Launched 19 December 2017
Leading the way - Sustainability in Action masterclass 15 December 2017
Brighton is among the best places to start a business due to their strong growth factors 15 December 2017
GTR consultation ends 20th Dec 2017 13 December 2017
Ethical Food StartUp Programme - Idea Generation Workshop 12 December 2017
Utilise Plus launch programme of energy efficiency grants and business support for SMEs