Askar Sheibani

The UK economy: stimulating success

Askar Sheibani, CEO of Comtek and Entrepreneurship Champion for Wales, shares some of his views on stimulating the economy.

The UK economy has generated controversial headlines over the past few months. From March’s Budget announcement to the EU Entrepreneurial Action Plan, debate has intensified as to what combination of cuts and initiatives are capable of generating the economic growth Britain so desperately needs. The upshot: there is no quick fix.

What many have recently come to understand is that Britain needs to invest on a grass roots level to create a long term, reliable foundation for growth – most critically among the communities, the businesses, and the people that will drive this very success.

Strengthen the localities

Efforts need to be made to strengthen Britain as a whole, rather than ploughing funds towards an overly powerful centre point – such as Whitehall. Local authorities must be empowered with the resources to invest in initiatives such as business hubs, to kick-start growth that supports the entire population, rather than only those living in wealthy areas.

Improving the countries infrastructure, for example, will widen opportunities for growth. Though the recent Budget addresses this issue with a projected £3 billion infrastructure investment, exactly where this money will be spent is yet to be seen. Funding to improve broadband infrastructures and railways would be a great step forward to make Britain more connected.

Invest in start-ups and entrepreneurs

The EU has been failing to support fledgling businesses which are vital to a strong economy. If entrepreneurs don’t feel it possible or worthwhile to create new businesses and revenue streams, an economy becomes stagnant and inflexible, with its citizens rapidly losing faith.

Creating a supportive environment which encourages start-ups, with mentor schemes and financial aid, will sow the seeds of a thriving economy. The Entrepreneurial Action Plan does seek to support entrepreneurial programmes, but it will be quite a challenge to make the rapid changes which are necessary to keep the UK globally competitive. This is especially the case as the BRIC regions gain traction in international markets and as competition becomes increasingly fierce.

Create a better workforce

Economic development can only be successful if it is supported with social and cultural progress. To achieve this, private enterprise must also play a part in building the local community. Local talent pools, for instance, should be utilised and invested in to create the skills businesses in the area need.

A better future

The UK certainly has the potential for a stronger economy; it simply needs to utilise its assets better. Expertise and resources lie untapped across the whole of the country and the spread of successful businesses needs to reflect this. The Government, councils and businesses need to work together to build lucrative industries and skilled workforces in the localities. A network of prosperous communities across the UK will improve both the economy and the welfare of our country long into the future.

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