Government Urged To Help Jobless Become Self-Employed

Senior Conservative MPs are calling on the government to help unemployed people to start their own business and become self-employed.  Dame Andrea Leadsom, Jo Gideon and Craig Tracey of the 1922 Business Committee say that jobcentres should provide advice to those hoping to start a business, and so encourage people to shape their own futures.  And colleges should teach youngsters about how to set up a business, including the practicalities of keeping it afloat and balancing the books on vocational courses such as plumbing and hairdressing.

In addition, the British Business Bank could also be ordered to offer out smaller loans than the current minimum of £500 to help the smallest family-run businesses, they said.  The MPs said “we need to help businesses with the ambition and potential to grow and achieve that aspiration.”

The group of MPs said small businesses struggle to access cash needed to balance the books or grow.  One MP even confirmed differences in loans to businesses in the southeast and the northeast of England to “East and West Germany before reunification.”

“Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, gave evidence to the 1922 Committee that commercial banks generally serve a certain type of customer and only in certain parts of the country. There is a clear need to ‘level up’ access to finance.”

The MPs concluded: “Too few of these SMEs develop into more substantial businesses, despite growth possibilities. We need to help businesses with the ambition and potential to grow and achieve that aspiration.”

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