Why is money for enterprise not invested in areas where enterprise produces the best returns?
Today’s announcement of the second round of enterprise zone investment was disappointing for those who believe that this investment needs to be placed in areas where the best returns can be had. The government, in its wisdom, has agreed to the plans of a number of organisations for the creation of Enterprise Zones in a variety of areas. The majority of this investment is going to areas where arguably there is not the culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship.One enterprise zone that has been agreed is in Oxfordshire, David Cameron’s back yard!
And yet one of the most deprived areas of the country, believe it or not, is Bognor Regis, a town known for its long hours of sunshine and very high unemployment rates. The Coast to Capital LEP put forward a plan for the establishment of an advanced manufactiuring Enterprise Zone for this area and it was rejected.
On another note, another of the new business support operations, StartupBritain, is organising a bus tour around various regions to help encourage support and provide help and advice to potential start-ups in various parts of the country. Whilst in itself this appears to be a useful exercise, I am lost to understand why there will only be two visits to Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire areas but these are closed to the public at large. One of these is a visit to a college outside Brighton and the other is to an office of Nokia in Hampshire to help employees with their start-up plans. These counties have a greater number of start up businesses than anywhere else outside London, but again no real support.
Isn’t it time there was a little more joined up thinking in support for small businesses and to encourage entrepreneurship?