Last night Michael launched Link-Up, an initiative set up by Warners Solicitorés to provide networking opportunities for young professionals and associates, at an event hosted by Zed Music Café.
First he congratulated Zoe at the Zed Music Café for taking a huge step and setting up her own business and for hosting the event.
Michael said: “Zoe’s business is one of the 750,000 more businesses than there were five years ago. If we cast back to 2010 that is a remarkable change. Back then our economy was in trouble, with a budget deficit second only to Greece. The huge numbers of people starting a business has been a surprising feature of our economy since then. And contrary to what some might say, this is a choice people have made because they have spotted an opportunity and have the confidence to pursue it. It isn’t something borne of necessity.
“New firms and existing firms have driven the recovery to a position where
- we are the fastest growing major economy in the world
- 1000 new jobs have been created every day in this parliament – and three quarters of them are full time jobs
“And what is so important – not only to new businesses, but all businesses – is the advice that you can get from contacts, mentors or customers. Whether it is how to start exporting for the first time, how to secure that finance that you need, or how to get membership of a particular association.
“That’s why Link-Up is an excellent initiative and I hope the people you will meet and the experiences you can share will help all of you to succeed – and by doing so benefit Sevenoaks too.
“I was fortunate enough to be Business Minister for 18 months. In that time I visited some excellent businesses and it reinforced my view that as a country we don’t give enough credit to people in business.
“We all need to do more to make the case for enterprise because it is only with a strong economy and successful businesses that we can fund the public services, defence, the police upon which we all rely.
“As MP for Sevenoaks and a Minister I have been unashamedly pro-enterprise. That means promoting competition, opening up markets, and championing new firms. It’s something I’ve done whether in the business department scrapping red tape, or in energy backing new suppliers. It’s what I am doing in Defence by opening up more spending to SMEs. And it means delivering lower corporate and personal taxes to ensure Britain was competitive.
“Link Up can play a role in pushing us as a government to do more to help business – and to help make the case for enterprise.
I wish you all and the Zed Music Café every success.