In the second in our Spotlight on Microbusinesses series, we gather a range of public and private policy stakeholders to explore the challenges and opportunities business support organisations face in delivering interventions to micro-firms.

The newly published Levelling Up White Paper marks the launch of a decade-long project by the UK Government to level up Britain, with one of the 12 core missions at its centre being to “improve pay, employment and productivity in every area of the UK.” If the UK is to achieve greater and more evenly spread economic prosperity, microbusinesses – a wealth of innovation and resilience – have a vital contribution to make.  However, microbusinesses face a number of particular challenges in their delivery of people management and often current support interventions fail to reflect their lived experience.

In the second in an event series by the PrOPEL Hub and Centre for Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship, we explore this complex issue from the point of view of policymakers.   We gather key stakeholders in the microbusiness support landscape including the Federation of Small Businesses, the Charted Institute for Personnel and Development and the Low Pay Commission to ask what can be done to ensure support interventions meet the day to day needs of microbusinesses.

Videos from the session and key takeaways can be viewed below.

Session 1

Professor Monder Ram frames discussion and highlights the disconnect between the lived experience of microbusinesses and current support interventions.  He hands over to Professor Richard Saundry who is joined by Ben Wilmott, Head of Policy at the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and Emelia Quist, Head of Policy at the Federation of Small Businesses, to discuss the unique challenges associated with delivering people management support to microbusinesses. 

Session 2

Professor Graeme Roy chairs a panel discussion featuring Kitty Ussher Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, Tim Butcher, Chief Economist and Deputy Secretary at the Low Pay Commission and David Grimes Principal Growth Consultant at Enable Growth Associates (formerly Head of Business Support, South Yorkshire MCA).  The panel consider opportunities to enhance business support for micro-firms and identify priority areas to drive change.

Professor Patricia Findlay, Distinguished Professor of Work and Employment Relations at the University of Strathclyde and Director of the Scottish Centre for Employment Research, wraps up by leading a reflection on next steps to advance this agenda and key stakeholders for doing so.