Half of MPs have never heard of Tech City, study finds
Think tank poll uncovers widespread ignorance of policies designed to support entrepreneurs
MPs are widely ignorant of high-profile policies designed to support entrepreneurs, a new poll suggests, even as they hold strong views on the topic.
The ‘Parliamentary Snapshot’ study, commissioned by cross-party think tank The Entrepreneurs Network, found that almost half of MPs (48%) had never heard of the Tech City UK initiative, credited as the driving force behind London’s tech and digital revival.
Additionally, two-thirds of MPs (66%) had never heard of the £100m government-backed Angel CoFund investment scheme, with half also ignorant of the government’s GrowthAccelerator business support initiative.
42% of MPs also admitted to never having heard of the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), a major series of tax breaks designed to encourage investment in small, unquoted companies.
Despite this, members of the Houses of Parliament held strong views on how to promote entrepreneurship in the UK, with 92% of Conservatives in favour of cutting UK business regulation and 93% of Labour MPs insisting that more spending on workforce skills was needed.
The Entrepreneurs Network said the study showed a need for MPs to inform themselves of current policy initiatives before voting on new ones, as many are unaware of the spending already in place.
Philip Slater, director of The Entrepreneurs Network, said: “It’s encouraging that MPs are increasingly vocal about supporting Britain’s entrepreneurs; however, the fact that they are unfamiliar with the policies already in place is worrying.”
“As things stand, MPs don’t appear adequately informed to vote on future policy changes impacting entrepreneurs. Also, MPs should be familiar with these schemes so that they are able to pass on details to the many entrepreneurs they meet in their constituencies.”