The Alternative LEP and Micro-enterprise

Our alternative LEP will have a board stuffed full of owner managers of micro enterprises.

Don’t get me wrong we will have ‘token’ small and medium sized board members too – but will draw the line at Big Business. They have enough lobbying clout and influence to fight their own battles.

So what type of policies would our board look at developing?

  1. Programmes to promote local supply chains and sourcing from micro-enteprise wherever practical
  2. Conduct a major overhaul of commissioning and procurement processes in the public sector (local authorities and NHS as primary targets) and where possible big businesses to ensure that they are as micro-enterprise friendsly as possible
  3. Divert training and learning budgets away from FE colleges and pay owner managers to take on apprenctices and teach them current, commercial practices.  Move the locus for learning from the class room into the workplace.
  4. Develop ways to enable micro-enterprises to co-operate and collaborate so they they can punch above their weight. Promote collaborative consumption and production.
  5. Promote local economy arguments and the importance of keeping cash in local peoples hands rather than handing it over to multi-nationals

What other policy areas would an alt-LEP that understood micro enterprise seek to develop?

Comments

  1. Mike – assume you saw our research on how LEP proposals supported local resilience – http://localisewestmidlands.org.uk/leps-principles/lwm-evaluation-leps-localisation/ – hopefully extending this work soon.

    Also y’day discussed how in business led neighbourhood planning, business’s votes should be proportional to local multiplier….

    Karen

    • Hmm. Not seen the research but will have a look. I must admit that much of the LEP thinking that I have seen revolves around good old inward investment – which essentially puts the future of the community in the hands of employers who choose, or are incentivised, to ‘come to town’. This dependency on employers who are happy to move their businesses to the most economically viable area puts tremendous strain on the local authority as they prioritise retaining businesses and creates havoc on communities when they leave. My vision of a resilient community would have a much higher proportion of micro and small enterprises trading locally and independently wherever practical and much more engaged with the local community in the long term.

      Of course there are plenty of examples of cities that have successfully built good win/win relationships with large employers who become critical to the future of the city (look at Detroit – oh, hang on). But in many cases it ends in tears….

  2. I have to say that i subscribe to all that you propose. The danger is expecting those in control of the budgets to risk all on this throw of the dice. Which is why I am so supportive of cooperatives – they’re the new middle ground both economically and politically.

    I’m particularly fond of your education suggestion, simply because FE and HE are just simply another business model that can help but put its own interests in front of those they’re meant to serve.

    All of this is quite radical, which is precisely what’s needed. I’m all for it Mike!

    Cheers @mikeriddell62

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