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Since Crunch launched in 2009, we’ve heard very personal stories from clients who felt government decisions didn’t support nor understand what it’s like starting your own business and freelancing. All too often, it seemed like the government had a blind-spot in relation to micro-businesses and the self-employed, leading to their needs being ignored or even harmed as new policy rolled out.
But we didn’t want to be moaners about this. Instead, we chose to be positive and proactive about the situation. So we created a community to bring together support and campaigning for micro-businesses; to make their voice stronger and clearer to decision-makers.
We call that community Crunch Chorus and it already has 24,000 members working together.
We also wanted to find positive proposals to improve policy, not just shout about the good and bad that emerges from Whitehall. We have long admired the work the RSA have done on the small business and self-employment sector, so it was a natural fit to approach them to develop positive policy ideas.
Last night, we launched the fruits of the wonderful partnership we started with the RSA in summer 2016. The report, ‘The Entrepreneurial Audit’, provides 20 major policy proposals for government to consider across a broad range of areas including National Insurance, Business Rates, Universal Credit, late payments, and much more.
For the launch event, held at RSA House in London, we had the FT’s Sarah O’Connor chair a panel discussion with the report’s lead author Benedict Dellot, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady, and Manchester University economist Professor Diane Coyle.
It was a fascinating evening with great audience involvement stretching the panel to consider the issues in light of robots, Brexit, and more.
Last night’s launch was just the beginning of this work. We’re going to be taking these policy proposals to decision-makers across government and party lines, so we’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on the ideas presented.