The Entrepreneurs Network in 2017

The Entrepreneurs Network, which sits within the Adam Smith Institute, works in three ways in support of one aim: to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business.

First, we are the voice of entrepreneurs in the political process. We have a strong and growing network of thousands of entrepreneurs, from which we can find out how the laws and regulations of the land impact their ability to start, run and grow successful businesses.

We fuse this practical knowledge with the latest research to lobby for specific changes to law. We are critical when governments are getting it wrong (e.g. the sclerotic visa system, historically poor planning policy, regulatory creep etc.), but supportive when they get it right (e.g. the introduction SEIS and EIS, smart crowdfunding regulation, the Northern Powerhouse initiative etc.). In 2017, we will explore these and other issues impacting entrepreneurs through the All Party Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship.

Second, we help explain what is happening in Westminster and how it will impact entrepreneurs’ businesses. What’s the point of the government launching a new tax break if Britain’s business owners don’t know about it? And when a new regulation is going to burden businesses, we help explain its potential impact. Where appropriate, we even partner with the government – for example, with the Department for International Trade on their Exporting is Great strategy – but we will never take government money because doing so would undermine our independence.

Third, we are very much a do-tank (to steal a phrase from Madsen). Whether it's the Leap 100, a select group of some of the UK’s most exciting, high-growth companies, or projects like the Female Founders Forum, we are increasingly helping entrepreneurs in a practical way. In 2017, we have a new project that will help connect the founders of Britain's leading companies with the next generation of entrepreneurs – particularly the most talented young entrepreneurs who wouldn’t otherwise have access to our remarkable network of business owners and experts. For those familiar with the Adam Smith Institute, it will be like The Next Generation for entrepreneurs.

We will do much else besides – including our annual Parliamentary Snapshot that polls MPs on their knowledge of policies impacting entrepreneurs – and Regional Roundtables, which get us out of London for events up and down the country. It will be a busy year!