Passion for Private Business
It’s a slightly strange feeling as I sit here early on this Friday morning. Here we are, now only a very few days away from the Emergency Budget, and there’s almost a sense of “calm before the storm” - many people in many different ways have put significant effort into endeavours to inform and influence those with power in the policy debate and decision-making and now wait anxiously to see if their labours will bear fruit when the Chancellor stands up next Tuesday lunchtime.
Compared to the many life-threatening disasters in the world (one can only imagine how it must feel to be on a small Island in the middle of the ocean wondering whether the impending tidal wave will hit or narrowly divert) it seems overly dramatic to be describing the anticipation of Capital Gains Tax changes in the UK in this way!
But nevertheless, there has been a passionate strength of feeling and effort on our shores – and rightly so – so vital to our future is the survival of enterprise and entrepreneurship.
A week ago at this time I was in the middle of the Institute for Family Business’ annual 2-day conference – and no better place than that to feel the power of genuine long-term commitment to business growth. It was a privilege to spend time with the many business-owners there, and hard not to be moved by two overriding things that come across almost like a shared purpose:
(1) a genuine pride and confidence in the long-term family investment and commitment that over generations past and to come will continue to provide both stable employment and significant contribution to our economy;
(2) a hunger to learn from one another, to constantly improve, to share both successes and failures for the benefit of greater and quicker learning.
The theme of the conference was Trust – not as a woolly, “pink and fluffy” aspiration – but as a real source of competitive advantage. It strikes me just how important trust is at this time – the trust our whole population needs to put in those who can build and grow businesses, and in turn the trust those business-builders are putting in the Government right now to make sound judgements.
Such personal commitment to driving success– whether established family-owned businesses or the many first-generation entrepreneurs we are fortunate to have on our shores – comes at a significant personal cost. A cost and continual personal risk investment that needs to be recognised, encouraged, nurtured and allowed to flourish if we are to deliver on the economic challenge that faces us – and deliver we must.