“The existing variety of approaches, policies, systems and business models across and within the nine regions, when the issues facing small business and the questions that need to be answered are virtually identical, is absurd. As a general rule Government should not provide business advice.”
The Richard Report. Submission to Shadow Cabinet (2008)
On 8th May 2008, the Conservative Party published the Richard Report. This vision was their Small Business Task Force review of business support, led by Doug Richard (notorious for his time on the television show Dragon’s Den). The release of the Richard Report soon fell off the radar of small businesses. Not so the Conservative Party who three years on would use this template as the foundation of Prime Minister David Cameron’s business support plan.
Chapter 13 completes a step by step review of the recommendations in this dossier. The underlying foundation of the report is challenged – the belief that Government funded provision of advice is superfluous.
The Richard Report questioned the integrity of the Government bidding process to deliver business support stating categorically that tendering for contracts had been “far from transparent”. Chapter 13 examines this serious accusation.
The chapter closes with Doug Richard’s innovative vision of a “business in every school”.