Entrepreneurs angry at government

Seventy-six percent of the UK’s 500 leading entrepreneurs complained they were a low priority for the government, in research by MORI for the 2002 Ernst & Young Entrepriser Survey revealed.

Commenting on this finding, E&Y said the figures show a worrying gap between rhetoric and action despite the imminent introduction of the government’s Enterprise Bill.

David Wilkinson, head of entrepreneurial services at E&Y, said: ‘Entrepreneurs are disappointed with the government for continuing on the one hand to preach the benefits of an enterprise culture in the UK, whilst on the other burdening companies with an endless litany of red tape and excess bureaucracy. It’s not surprising they feel misunderstood and under represented.’

The abolition of capital gains tax and a reduction in red tape topped respondents’ wish list for 2002, most of whom are either chief executives or finance directors of their own companies.

However, UK entrepreneurs remain on the whole upbeat about economic prospects in 2002.

Wilkinson said: ‘Despite the fact that entrepreneurs are feeling the uncertainty in the economy there is a lot of optimism out there. There is still more money out there for early stage companies in the UK than at any time in the past.

‘In an uncertain market place we need to think more creatively about a business environment that encourages the flair and innovation that lies at the heart of the entrepreneurial business proposition.’

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