Julie, what do you know that I don’t?

Entrepreneur Country is an impressive and rapidly expanding website founded by Julie Meyer. She is CEO of Ariadne Capital and a BBC Online Dragon.

Following last week’s Comprehensive Spending Review (“CSR”) her site proclaimed

‘Spending announcement creates opportunities for small businesses’.

Julie herself was quoted as saying

‘…business has welcomed the Chancellor’s strong austerity measures and his pledge to support UK businesses.’

The CSR was complicated. The only specific measures I can find are:

  • 5,000 additional apprenticeships
  • £150m for small enterprises over the next four years
  • £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund for job creation in areas of high public sector employment.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (“BIS”) has had its budget cut by 25%.

Accepting that Julie believes the CRS was needed to ensure the UK’s debt ratings allow us to pay our way, at this stage, the specific help for encouraging enterprising businesses looks weak.

The CSR has not addressed the following:

  • British banks will not take risks lending to SMEs (The Chancellor muttered something about extending the Enterprise Guarantee Scheme but the banks will still be resistant.)
  • The various other enterprise initiatives are achieving very little.
  • The smaller equity markets are particularly subdued: AIM (apart from foreign mineral firms) and PLUS Markets are almost dead for sub-£30m capitalised companies
  • The EIS regime urgently needs revitalising but the HMRC are saying it will be six months before anything meaningful happens.

To get things moving I would try to release the billions of private savings locked away in the banks (UK residents are repaying mortgages, bank loans and credit cards as fast as they can). I would part-privatise (say) £20bn of the Government’s banks’ shares by re-introducing the Thatcher ‘Don’t tell Sid’ techniques.

The Government are looking at Privatisations such as the Royal Mint and the Dartford Crossing. My suspicion is that these will be institutional whereas I believe the real potential is unlocking the power of private investors.

I would use the funds raised from privatising the bank shares to lower capital gains tax back to 18%.

That Julie is what I would do.


Here is a question for a cold October evening:

Who moved power-crazed Dave to the left?

  1. SamCam
  2. Nick Clegg
  3. Nick Boles (ugh! The Policy Exchange)
  4. Dennis Skinner

The answer is:     Lino Carbosiero

Linny is Dave’s hairdresser (he also does Madonna). He has moved Dave’s parting to the left…from the right.

****************************************************************************************************The voting for the Leader of the new Democratic Enterprise Britain Social Party (“Debs”) has been extended because of a rush of applicants from the US.

First Sarah (Palin) and then Julie (Meyer)…what a week.

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