Business leaders confident Britain is open for business

Britain is once again open for business, according to 67 per cent of business executives who attended ‘Balancing Britain’s Books’ at London Business School.


Following the announcement of the UK Budget 2012 , London Business School hosted a panel discussion with over 100 business leaders at its campus in Regent’s Park.

During the event, delegates were asked which sector would deliver most growth for the UK economy and the majority voted in favour of financial services (52 per cent), over manufacturing, infrastructure and construction.

“To compete globally, Britain needs to focus on growth rather than stability and that requires a not insubstantial rebalancing of industry in the UK”, according to Andrew Scott, Professor of Economics at London Business School and one of the panellists.

“In the UK, predictably, most see great potential for growth from our financial services sector. However, infrastructure, non-financial services and manufacturing hold promise and growth through efficiency improvements will be critical”, he continued.

The discussion around innovation swiftly moved to the changes outlined in the budget to the business landscape and how they might help or hinder start-ups. Panellists discussed the wide range of start-ups in the marketplace and their access to investments through venture capital and angel investments.

“There are more entrepreneurs and SMEs in the UK than ever before”, said
Dale Murray, Angel Investor of the Year 2011. “The greatest challenge that entrepreneurs are facing is gaining access to capital as banks are simply not lending”, she continued.

To achieve a growth policy and support the SMEs, Nick Baird, of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), highlighted the UK’s objective of reducing the trade deficit by “increasing the number of UKTI exporters by 100,000 and increase UK exports from £480 billion to £1 trillion.” 

Panellists included: Professor Sir Andrew Likierman, Dean, London Business School, Andrew Scott, Professor of Economics, London Business School; Nick Baird, Chief Executive of UKTI; Michael Dyke, Managing Director, Lend Lease; Dale Murray, Angel Investor of the Year 2011 and Co-founder of Omega Logic; and Nick Farraway, SVP Head of Europe of Havells Sylvania.