The ramblings of a former DWP Civil Servant ...

Part 10: Time to Take a Reasoned Approach to Promoting Self Employment

Self-employment is not all it is cracked up to be, particularly if you write to the Prime Minister saying that you are aiming to be the next Richard Branson. And believe me, they did and said they signed up fully to the enterprise culture too. They usually ended their letters by asking Mrs Thatcher for a grant to help set up their business. I blame our schools for not explaining enough about the meaning of irony!

About ten years or so ago, Birmingham City Council hired a firm of reputable consultants (yes, they do exist) to review its spend on enterprise support. The consultants’ report came to a very definite conclusion that the City got a bigger return from every pound spent on support to existing businesses, mainly SMEs than it got from encouraging new business start-ups. Logically…

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