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The Government said it will work with experts to evaluate each project’s effectiveness
Richard Bell

Industrial Strategy: New small business fund to boost UK economy by £100bn

The Government is making plans for a new small business fund as part of its Industrial Strategy.

Small Business Minister Andrew Griffiths will today (June 26) unveil a new £8m pot to boost the productivity and performance of SMEs in England.

The Business Basics Fund – operated by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in partnership with Innovate UK – will help companies, charities, trade and public sector organisations support smaller firms as they adopt new technologies and management techniques.

The Government will work with experts to evaluate each project’s effectiveness in increasing productivity, which it said will help inform future policies.

According to research from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), encouraging more firms to use technologies and management practices like cloud computing, mobile tech and e-purchasing would boost the UK economy by £100bn.

Andrew Griffiths MP, who will announce the Business Basics Fund at a CBI event, said: “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, with more than 1,000 new businesses starting up every day, and it is vital that we support them to grow through our modern Industrial Strategy.

“The Business Basics Fund will test new and innovative ways of supporting small businesses to take advantage of technologies and management practices, giving small business leaders the tools and support they need to continue to thrive.”

CBI UK chief policy director Matthew Fell commented: “Put simply, UK businesses must do more to improve their productivity to get themselves match fit to compete globally in the years ahead. Low uptake of the nuts and bolts technologies of today is a key feature of the productivity puzzle that can, and must, be tackled.

“UK business technology adoption levels are close to the EU average but far behind the front runners, lagging nearly a decade behind the Danes.”

He added: “The new Industrial Strategy can be the perfect vehicle to get to grips with this missing piece of the jigsaw.”

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