There is the potential for a long post here, but for the moment, I’ll stick to “Innovation grants”.
A small client worked for weeks, hiring consultants, to obtain an innovation grant for part of one R&D effort. They won a grant, and then spent the duration of the project accounting for its use in excruciating detail. The person who did that accounting was a key employee: there was no one else available in such a lean and effective company. By the end of the period, they regretted the whole miserable episode and wished they had spent the time finding new customers and consulting instead.
There is already a well-established system that allows companies to raise funds: equities and bonds. If it’s too expensive for small firms to raise capital in the markets, maybe government has a role through investing in British entrepreneurs through a venture capital fund.
I’m reminded of Thomas Deacon city academy, where:
Britain’s most expensive state school is being built without a playground because those running it believe that pupils should be treated like company employees and do not need unstructured play time.
And then people wring their hands over a lack of entrepreneurs. Absurd!
The United Kingdom is labouring under a suffocating blanket of bureaucracy, which explodes year on year. Anyone who thinks it helps us compete with a well-educated, ambitious Asia is seriously misguided, at best.