May 29, 2012

Delivering Entrepreneurial Enterprise on Merseyside?

Ian Scott has written an interesting paper looking into how to boost the number of entrepreneurs in Liverpool, something which is often a topic I ponder myself. He's also dug into some of what Liverpool Vision and the new LEP are planning to do, and is asking some question of it.

It's a difficult position to fulfil and not one that I envy the people at Vision, etc. The excerpts that Ian quotes feel like the standard using lots of words to say very little that's common of death-by-committee plans that try to walk the tightrope of promising lots while committing to as little as possible (not so that the implementers can slack off, just because they don't want to be held to account if they fail). Such is politics it seems.

Anyway, that's not the important stuff in the report. More interesting are the way he breaks down the standard SME classification into micro, small and medium, and then looks at their respective contributions to the economy:

"Thus, the second position [after large enterprises] on the turnover scale would be accorded to Merseyside micro
businesses, a sector comprising 78% of all enterprises in the region."

I'm less convinced than Ian of how important it is for micro-SMEs to have representation within the LEP, but partly because I'm not expecting them to make a lot of difference to whether or not I'm successful. That said, it's frustrating when the city is engaging in areas in which I've an interest and that I only find out about on twitter after it's too late. (For a recent example, see the recent Smart Citiy event).

What would be useful, although I'm not sure what to do beyond the sorts of chatting, and mixing up of events that already takes place, would be more cross-pollination and contact between the assorted groups of techies, artists, and entrepreneurs around the city. And not because then the LEP could deal with us better, but because we'd be building better businesses and bringing more prosperity to the city.

Posted by Adrian at May 29, 2012 11:43 PM | TrackBack

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I've got some ideas,some were sketeched out in that LEP2.0 blog. I should be more diligent and write some more about this.

I've been thinking for a while that I should initiate 'Growth Camp Liverpool' or something along those lines to see if we can crowd-source some ideas about accelerating growth (or at least more innovation).

There are some more meta-level questions about what do we want from growth, what type of economy are we trying to create and so on. I've just been talking this afternoon about the carrying capacity of an economy, and its something we have to bear in mind - I do think its not about starting more enterprises per se - that was New Labour's strategy to close the enterprise gap and it largely failed (see

But the debate does need to continue. I'm too knacked to read Ian's paper now but I'll fit it in over the weekedn. Is he Liverpool based do you know?

Posted by: Garry Haywood (@_garrilla) at June 28, 2012 08:23 PM
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