The Entrepreneur's Budget: My Wish List

George Osborne should focus on three things: improving the UK's start-up environment; making education more entrepreneurial; and boosting the industries with the potential to explode.

Later today William Gladstone's battered red briefcase will be wheeled out for its annual photo op next to the man tasked with nursing the British economy back to health.

If 2013 was all about recovery, this year it's growth that will take centre stage. Last year's slash in co-operation tax to 20 per cent along with the introduction of a £2,000 National Insurance allowance were both welcome moves for business; helping Britain maintain an edge over the international competition.

But growth isn't going to come from supporting existing businesses alone. It's going to be fuelled by getting more people out there starting new businesses - growing the enterprises creating the next generation of British jobs.

George Osborne should focus on three things: improving the UK's start-up environment; making education more entrepreneurial; and boosting the industries with the potential to explode.

In a Britain that sees a new business being founded every minute, it's vital that the Chancellor's upcoming Budget does more to harness the energy of this next generation of entrepreneurs to get the UK growing.

Corporation tax and National Insurance reductions are great news if you already own a business, but they don't go far enough to helping you get there.

As it is, the problems facing the UK's start-ups community continue to be the same, with funding and running costs a consistent thorn in the side of budding entrepreneurs. Utilities are getting more expensive, while small businesses still find it difficult to access capital. Both markets need to be made more competitive and innovative if start-ups are to flourish.

If the Budget can provide some support for challenger banks and energy providers, it will go a long way to helping out those with the courage to set up their own businesses.

Of course, creating new sources of capital can only work if entrepreneurs know what to do with it. It's crucial that we start closing the gap between classroom and boardroom, making sure young people are leaving education with the skills they need - not just to get jobs - but to create them.

I'm calling on the Chancellor to make a commitment to take on board the recommendations of Lord Young's enterprise education review, due to be published later this year. Let's start a national discussion between business, government and teachers about how we can embed entrepreneurism as an equal path to livelihood.

The Chancellor should look to the Start Up Loans Programme if he's in need of inspiration. In less than two years the initiative has helped thousands start new businesses.

At School for Startups, we have lent £12.6m through our Launcher Programme. It's the perfect example of how thinking differently can have a major impact.

At the heart of its success has been the combination of cheap, government-backed capital with an educational framework. Budding entrepreneurs are given not only the cash they need in an amount they can handle, but also the skills and round-the-clock support needed to give their enterprises the greatest possible chance of success.

The other great imbalance that this Budget needs desperately to address is the promotion of the sectors with the potential to deliver explosive growth - which in my experience is our creative industries.

While most business programmess are relatively sector agnostic, in reality - for many participants - it's all about aspiring to be the next Google.

The simple truth is that we don't have a Silicon Valley in this country, and while Tech City has enjoyed some success, the greatest business asset that Britain has are its creative ones: from Pinewood to Saatchi & Saatchi, the UK is a world leader in creativity.

George Osborne has already promised that his Budget will incorporate an injection of tax breaks for the creative sector. However, it's vital that these tax breaks go beyond the tech and gaming industries where they are currently concentrated, and free British creativity to do what it does best, find new and innovative ways to grow.

In the last few years the UK has witnessed an explosion of new businesses. With more than a fifth of the EU's entrepreneurs based in Britain, these islands are home to the army of start-ups that has helped turn our economy around - this Budget needs to make sure we stay on track.

Doug Richard is founder and CEO of School for Startups. He is a visionary entrepreneur, early-stage investor, government adviser and philanthropist best known for his award-winning work in entrepreneur development in the UK and internationally. To find out more about the Launcher Programme and how it can help you to kick-start your enterprise, click here.

@s4s / @CreativeS4S

Before You Go