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Innovation investment needed to narrow the productivity gap

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On Tuesday 17th July FSB Policy launched their long awaited Innovation Report. High in the sky overlooking the City in the ‘Walkie Talkie’ Building the conference room was full to the brim with interested parties and the launch was followed by debate with a panel of experts.

Currently, almost half (43%) of small firms that are thinking about making changes, say a lack of time is holding them back, followed by a lack of skilled employees (37%). Almost a third (27%) say they can’t decide if the disruption is worth the longer-term benefits. Key to improving these numbers- and getting more businesses innovating- is supporting smaller business owners to build on their leadership and management skills, allowing bosses to be able to translate ideas and good intentions into action. FSB is calling on Government to introduce a tax credit or relief to alleviate the cost of taking time out of running a business to undertake training, as well as work with organisations to provide more tailored training packages.

Small businesses would also benefit from a greater offering of flexible and accessible learning opportunities from universities and business schools. With research showing less than half of smaller firms have used cloud services (40%), online data storage (37%) or file transfer technology (33%), more needs to be done to help business owners introduce productivity-boosting technology. FSB is urging Government to explore the idea of growth vouchers to take up digital technologies. Statement from one of the distinguished panellists “every new business is now born global and not local!”

Facilitated by FSB Head of Policy, Sonali Parekh this launch and the great work involved was applauded by all who attended.