Business leaders unite to bring down barriers to SME productivity

A new group geared towards tackling Britain’s so-called productivity gap has been set up by a number of UK business leaders following a meeting with the Bank of England (BoE).
Be the Business, which is chaired by a number of prominent entrepreneurs and successful company bosses, such as John Lewis’ Sir Charlie Mayfield, has been set-up to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through a series of new initiatives.
The organisation’s emergence comes after business leaders met with BoE Governor Mark Carney to discuss ways in which greater support could be offered to SMEs in order to boost the nation’s productivity, which Mr Carney claims has “severely under-performed since the financial crisis.”
Among the initiatives that will go ahead are a mentoring and education programme entitled Productivity through People and an online Q&A platform, both of which it is hoped will help SMEs to boost productivity in the workplace.
The news comes at a time when up-to-date research suggests that productivity has begun slowly rising in recent months, having increased by 0.9 per cent towards the end of 2017.
BoE Governor Mark Carney, said: “Reviving productivity growth is critical for the UK’s long-term economic prosperity, and part of the answer lies in spreading best practice across a much wider range of firms.
“Be the Business are playing a key role in achieving that, helping businesses to identify and implement ways to improve their productivity.”
Sir Charlie Mayfield, of John Lewis, added: “Getting our businesses to improve their performance to the same level as our international competitors is the biggest economic challenge we face as a country.
“That’s why we’re building a movement that will recruit tens-of-thousands of companies across the UK to ensure we’re match fit to compete post-Brexit.”

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