What if government policy changed to help micro-businesses thrive? Launching our new project with the RSA

Posted on Aug 19th, 2016 | News and opinion

Crunch exists to help micro-businesses succeed. That’s our purpose as a business, but try as we might, sometimes there are larger factors at play such as government policy.

We’ve highlighted recently our concerns over government plans to extend IR35 in the public sector and to increase dividend taxes. In response to the pressure we’ve brought on these issues a minister has even responded in the commons to explain that a lack of a data was why the impact on micro-businesses wasn’t considered when drafting plans to raise dividend taxes.

It’s a matter of debate whether entrepreneurs, freelancers, contractors, sole traders and small businesses are a blind spot for government, or just a low priority compared to ultra-high growth venture-backed ‘gazelles’ and corporates. No matter your view, there is no doubt that things could be better if government policy genuinely understood and supported the new ways of working.

Our own research has shown that the vast majority of those who choose to work for themselves are happier, less stressed and feel more in control of their work-life balance. The ability to make such a choice shouldn’t be restricted to a few because of the affluence of their parents or the whims of government policy developed for an outdated Victorian industrial model.

We have long admired the RSA’s work in this area including on the universal basic income, the self-employed and the new economy. So we are absolutely delighted to be supporting a new piece of work with them to audit existing policy with the needs of the micro-business community in mind. The team at the RSA, with our support, will be looking to make positive policy recommendations to help unleash an entrepreneurial renaissance in the UK.

A note on the oft-abused term ‘entrepreneur’: You don’t need to be Richard Branson to be an entrepreneur, anyone who runs their own business, even if just in the evenings from the kitchen table, is being entrepreneurial. We want to re-capture entrepreneurialism as something we can all aspire to without being ‘heroic’. That’s why we’re calling this work the ‘Entrepreneurial Audit’.

We are incredibly excited to be embarking on this work. Sign up to Crunch Chorus for email updates and read the RSA’s launch post to find out more.

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Written by Jason Kitcat

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