Businesses play a vital part in the success and regeneration of our communities, so it’s essential that their voice is heard. One way that this can be achieved is through the use of Local Enterprise Partnerships, or LEPs. Are they listening to the right businesses, and are they having a positive effect on the world of business? A study by DJS Research looks at the role and performance of Local Enterprise Partnerships in the UK. Here, Glowing Global review the study and discuss the impact that LEPs can have.
“Business is at the heart of our communities, and provides many of the building blocks that make this country so great”, said Ricco Katona, director of Glowing Global. “It’s important therefore that Local Enterprise Partnerships help to create and encourage an environment that will see all businesses grow, not just well-established companies. Small and medium enterprises are the force behind the economic recovery, so LEPs should listen to what they say.”
The study takes facts and figures from a survey and research carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses and the Centre for Local Economic Strategies. It suggests that LEPs are too weighted towards large-scale organisations, and don’t give smaller companies the consideration they deserve. In 2013, small to medium enterprises created over 80% of all new jobs in the private sector and contributed 48% of its turnover. Despite this, most small and medium business owners think that Local Enterprise Partnerships are more influenced by, and interested in, large businesses.
77% of respondents said that they wanted LEPs to provide small business procurement advice, but only one in four LEPs offered this. Local Enterprise partnerships receive public funding to the tune of £17 billion, yet the vast majority of them are unaccountable, and there is no framework or external body responsible for judging the efficacy of their actions.
“Local Enterprise Partnerships should play a vital role in ensuring the growth of small and medium businesses, but many entrepreneurs want them to do more”, said Ricco Katona of Glowing Global. “Studies such as this can play a vital role in bringing LEPs and SMEs together, and this should help to generate more business for enterprises across the country in years to come.”
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