BIS pushes for mid-sized businesses to hit their potential

Posted on 10 Jan 2012

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is hoping that it can help accelerate £20 bn annual growth from the 10,000 mid-sized firms operating in the UK through better relations with emerging economies.

A delegation of mid-sized businesses (MSBs) will accompany Trade and Investment Minister, Lord Green, and director general of the business organisation CBI, John Cridland, to Turkey in April. The visit is the first UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) visit to focus exclusively on the opportunities for MSBs in an emerging market.

Government, business and representative groups are working together to provide tailored support to MSBs to target new export markets, through an additional £10m funding for UKTI. As part of the plan a new website is being launched to act as an information portal for MSBs.

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said: “MSBs have immense potential and we want to help them to be recognised for what they do and to raise their sights to the opportunities that exist.”

“I’m also delighted that John Cridland of the CBI will accompany Lord Green to Turkey,” added Mr Prisk. “Britain could be £20 bn a year richer if MSBs reach their full potential exporting to fast-growing markets.”

John Cridland, CBI director general
John Cridland, CBI director general

John Cridland, CBI director general, said that helping Britain’s mid-sized businesses to grow, export more and create new jobs will be vital to creating sustainable growth in the years to come. “This new campaign and the exciting forthcoming trip with MSBs to Turkey are a welcome first step on this journey,” commented Mr Cridland.

“To support our MSBs, we need to boost their confidence, raise their ambitions, and help scale-up their capabilities. If we do this, and plug the current gap in long-term finance available to MSBs, we think they could contribute an additional £20bn to the economy by 2020.

The campaign follows the actions laid out for MSBs in the Growth Review announced in the Autumn Statement. The £10 m UKTI fund was part of this project, as well as a package of credit easing measures to protect the flow of credit to smaller and mid-sized businesses

Additionally, a £1 bn fund will be set up to through a Business Finance Partnership, which will invest in smaller and mid-sized businesses in the UK through non-bank channels.

Mark Prisk also announced that Dame Helen Alexander of the CBI, James Douglas of Deloitte and Julian Franks of the London Business School will join an industry-led task force investigating a lack of lending by banks. The report will be published in time for the 2012 spring budget.