Welsh AMs Launch New Report on Supporting Entrepreneurship

The Cross Party Group on Small Shops has released the findings of its Supporting Entrepreneurship Inquiry, recommending new ways that the Welsh Government and local authorities can help entrepreneurs and small businesses to grow, including an ‘Entrepreneurs Test’ to ensure that new regulations do not have unforeseen negative impacts and reform of the business rates system to incentivise investment and not restrict business growth.

The Inquiry’s findings are the result of several evidence sessions in the Welsh Assembly, featuring industry experts, leading entrepreneurs and business organisations talking about the changes needed to help existing and future entrepreneurs succeed.

The findings focus on three areas, with recommendations including:


  • Better communication of apprenticeship funding and support for small employers to train more apprentices
  • A review of entrepreneurial skills training and business support services available to existing and aspiring entrepreneurs
  • The Welsh Government should develop a high-profile approach to employer engagement with schools to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs


  • Support for the Welsh Government’s objectives to offer ‘fast reliable broadband to every property in Wales’ by 2021 as set out in the Taking Wales Forward Action Plan
  • Declining access to local banking services should not require entrepreneurs to spend more time away from their businesses
  • Placemaking in Wales must be prepared to respond to disruptive innovation, such as online retailing and new business models, considering their impact on places within local hierarchies of commercial centres


  • Business rates are a clear barrier to growth and should be reformed to create a bespoke system in Wales that drives investment and economic growth
  • The Welsh Government should introduce a new ‘Entrepreneurs Test’ to encompass all impact assessments for business regulation
  • Increase awareness of how businesses can use the business finance market to drive growth

Speaking about the launch of the Inquiry report, Janet Finch Saunders, chair of the Cross Party Group on Small Shops said: “The Supporting Entrepreneurship Inquiry is much needed to highlight to the Welsh Government the issues facing entrepreneurs, business owners and those just starting out, and offers a valuable insight for policy-makers. Everyday entrepreneurs that are the backbone of the Welsh economy, those business people that serve their local community day in day out, providing valued jobs and supporting our high streets and shopping parades.

“After much stakeholder involvement, evidence sessions and meetings, I am delighted that we are able to provide the Welsh Government and local authorities with solid recommendations to take forward in support of this particular part of the Welsh business sector. These cover a broad spectrum of policy areas, reflecting the ‘plate-spinning’ realities faced by our everyday entrepreneurs.

“If implemented together, these policy suggestions would really spur the entrepreneurial spirit throughout Wales. I hope that Cabinet Secretaries, their officials and Assembly Members take note of the Inquiry’s findings, and seek to work with local government to implement our recommendations, which focus on local planning, business rates, and the development of an ‘Entrepreneurs Test’ to be included in future impact assessments for policy and proposals going forward.

“I would like to thank everyone involved in this inquiry for their valuable input and for giving their time to help the Cross Party Group develop this final report.”

Vikki Howells, Vice Chair of the Cross Party Group on Small Shops said: “Nearly 99% of Welsh businesses are classed as micro or small businesses. With these enterprises being at the heart of the Welsh economy, and contributing so much to ensuring we have thriving high streets in our towns and villages, it is right that we develop the policy environment to really support them.

“The findings of this inquiry aligns with what I am being told by entrepreneurs in my constituency, about the challenges and barriers they are facing. It suggests a range of practical, evidence-based interventions government can make to meet their needs, and I look forward to continuing to work with ministers to meet the needs of entrepreneurs in Cynon Valley and across Wales”.

The Cross Party Group on Small Shops allows Assembly Members to discuss the policy agenda for small shops and highlight concerns to the Welsh Government and Assembly. Other Assembly Members supportive of the Cross Party Group include Vikki Howells, Mark Isherwood, Russell George and David Rowlands. ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) provides Secretariat support for the group.

The full Inquiry report is available here: http://bit.ly/supportingentrepreneurs

This entry was posted by Chris on Wed, 04/07/2018 - 12:25