APPG for Entrepreneurship – May 2019 Digest

Uber strikes across four UK cities last week brought the gig economy and the rights of those who work within it front and centre.  

The heads of two Parliamentary Select Committees have urged Ministers to enact recommendations from the Taylor Review into employment. Almost two years after the launch of the Review, Rachel Reeves MP (Lab), chair of the BEIS Select Committee, accused the Government of "dawdling" and asked that it come forward with legislation to protect workers' rights and end abuse by "unscrupulous" employers. Frank Field (Independent), chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, added: "Until the Government gets a grip on the gig economy, employers' revenues will go on being subsidised by their sweated workforce and an exhausted public purse."

At a speech on the future of the Labour Market at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Amber Rudd MP (Con), Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, echoed these concerns, saying: "there are fears that for employees, the gig economy could objectify labour to a point where their working lives are subordinate to an unthinking algorithm".

A recent Oxford University survey found most Uber drivers had moved to the platform from a permanent role, attracted by the flexibility and control it offered. And as the Taylor Review pointed out, we now have more people wanting to work fewer hours than those who want to work more. One thing is for certain: with an estimated 4.8m people currently gigging in the UK, the gig economy is here to stay.

MPs have bridged the aisle on an amendment to the Immigration Bill that would see a relaxation of the current rules. Jo Johnson MP (Con) and Paul Blomfield MP (Lab) are calling for foreign students to be allowed to work in the UK for up to two years – a policy that was slashed to 4 months in 2012 when Theresa May was still Home Secretary. "If we are serious about Global Britain," former Universities Minister Johnson said, "we must recognise that international students bring huge benefits to our universities, our local economies and our soft power". 

In Silicon Valley, over half of all engineering and technology companies have at least one foreign-born founder, with the majority initially moving to the US to study, not work. But entrepreneurs need time to do the market research, develop key contacts, and spot an opportunity before taking the leap. The pair's bid has the backing of nine Commons Committee chairs, as well as Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner and former Conservative Ministers Justine Greening, David Davis, Andrew Mitchell and Priti Patel. 

Read the whole Digest – including entrepreneurship mentions in Parliament and relevant forthcoming events – here. Sign up here.

APPG for Entrepreneurship – February 2019 Digest

For centuries humans have looked to January as a source of renewal and, for entrepreneurs, 2019 began on an upbeat note: research from eBay found that over three-quarters of British entrepreneurs between 18 and 34 felt positive about their chance of growing their business in 2019; figures from the Booksellers Association showed that the number of independent bookstores on our high streets grew for the second year running in 2018; and a KPMG Enterprise study revealed that, over the course of 2018, 31.5 per cent (or $7.7bn) of VC investment in Europe went to UK startups.
This is only part of the picture, however. On Monday, a report from the British Business Bankshowed that female startup founders are missing out on billions of pounds of investment. Just 11 per cent of firms with at least one female founder received investment, and those with an all-female leadership team received just 1p in every pound. Ensuring female entrepreneurs get the finance to scale is fundamental – to both the economy and our society.
Also, a report from The Entrepreneurs Network and Association of Business Executives, launched in the Houses of Parliament with Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kelly Tolhurst MP, found that while the rate of business startup creation is cause for celebration, downstream as many as 56 per cent of these new firms collapse within five years. “Too often viable companies fail due to bad management even when the fundamental idea behind the business is sound,” author Sam Dumitriu writes. He recommends practical reforms to ensure businesses are better managed, thereby creating more jobs, paying higher wages and selling better products.

Read the whole Digest – including entrepreneurship mentions in Parliament and relevant forthcoming events – here. Sign up here.

Minutes of the 2018 AGM

12 December 2018 – Room Q, Portcullis House

Present: Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP, Baroness Kramer, Seema Malhotra MP, Lisa Cameron MP, Lord Lucas, Philip Salter (The Entrepreneurs Network), Sam Dumitriu (The Entrepreneurs Network).


Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP stood down as Chair and Seema Malhotra MP was unanimously elected as Chair and Registered Contact for the APPG. The group thanked Liam for his chairmanship.

Baroness Neville-Jones was elected as an Officer for the APPG.

The following officers were re-elected:

Dr Lisa Cameron MP, Vice-Chair
Rachel Maclean MP, Vice-Chair
Colin Clark MP, Officer
Gillian Keegan MP, Officer
Darren Jones MP, Officer
Wayne David MP, Officer
Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP, Officer
Lord Bilimoria, Officer
Baroness Kramer, Officer
Lord Cromwell, Officer

The following parliamentarians joined as members:

Sir Henry Bellingham MP
Lord Lucas
Baroness Wolf of Dulwich CBE
Lord Leigh of Hurley

Update from Secretariat:

Philip Salter noted that in 2018 the APPG for Entrepreneurship released 3 reports (on the topics of Enterprise Education, Women in Leadership and Tax Reform), held 2 launch events and hosted 6 roundtables with entrepreneurs and parliamentarians.

Research for 2019:

  • Lisa Cameron MP expressed interest in researching entrepreneurship as an option for people living with disabilities. She notes that flexibility is valuable for disabled. Lisa chairs APPG for Disability and raised the prospect of collaboration.

  • Seema Malhotra MP expressed interest in following up the APPG’s report on Enterprise Education at University level, with an addition report looking at provision in Primary and Secondary education. Lisa Cameron MP mentioned that the APPG should look at Enterprise Education’s place in the curriculum. Seema Malhotra MP mentioned importance of foundational business skills based on research with female entrepreneursc .

  • Baroness Kramer expressed interest in research ahead of the Immigration White Paper. Seema Malhotra MP also expressed interest in the Start-Up Visa and raised the possibility of a joint letter or article ahead of the White Paper.

  • Philip Salter set out three policies on immigration. Reforming the investor visa to channel more money into risk capital, the start-up visa to subsume the current entrepreneur visa, and a new post-study work option. Philip also highlighted issues with existing entrepreneur visa.

  • Baroness Kramer raised the issue of exporting and entrepreneurship

  • Lord Lucas raised the issue of procurement and whether SMEs are given a fair opportunity to compete for tenders. Baroness Kramer seconded that and raised concerns about the way tenders are overseen. Philip Salter mentioned South Korea’s online marketplace for public tenders as a potential model.


The meeting concluded and the group congratulated Seema on her election as Chair.

Entrepreneurs recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list

Twice a year, some of the UK’s great achievers are given recognition in the Honours List. Their accomplishments cover sport, social work and space – but we were particularly encouraged by the high number of entrepreneurs given recognition this year. They include Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed, Unruly co-founder Sarah Wood, and Eben Upton, founder of Rasberry Pi. 30-year old Rajeeb Dey was among the youngest of this year’s honourees, and received an MBE for services to entrepreneurship in recognition for his work as founder of Enternships and co-founder of StartUp Britain.

Alan Mak MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship, said:

Our APPG exists to help champion UK founders, and we are delighted to see some of the country’s best and brightest entrepreneurs have been awarded titles as part of the Queen’s 2016 Birthday Honours List. The individuals brave enough to strike out on their own are the driving force of the UK economy, inspiring innovation and creating employment – and deserve to be celebrated.

The entrepreneurs recognised with royal honours include:


  • Sir Peter Wood, founder of Direct Line and eSure, for services to UK industry and philanthropy.


  • Dr Eben Upton, founder of Raspberry Pi, for services to Business and Education.

  • Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Drinks, for services to the food industry and to charity.

  • Timothy Sawyer, chief executive officer of Start Up Loans, for services to small businesses and entrepreneurs.


  • Scott Button and Sarah Wood, co-founders of Unruly, for services to innovation and technology.

  • Deborah Wosskow, founder of Love Home Swap, for services to business.

  • Johanna Basford, for services to art and entrepreneurship.

  • Joel Blake, founder of Cultiv8 and co-founder of HOT500, for services to business support and enterprise.

  • Alex Chesterman, founder of Zoopla Property, for services to digital entrepreneurship.

  • John Clark, chair and chief executive of John Clark Motor Group, for services to business, motorsport and charity in Scotland.

  • Julie Devonshire, director of entrepreneurship at King’s College London and director at Ventures at UnLtd, for services to Entrepreneurship.

  • Gary Elden, chief executive officer, Sthree Plc, for services to diversity in business.

  • Andrew Fisher, executive chairman of Shazam, for services to the Digital Economy.

  • Stephen Gibson, founder and chairman of Bulkhaul and owner of Middlesbrough Football Club, for services to the economy, sport and community on Teesside.

  • Saul Klein, general partner at LocalGlobal and co-Founder of Lovefilm, Seedcamp and Kano, for services to business.

  • Caroline Plumb, founder and executive chair of FreshMinds, for services to business and charity.

  • Duncan Rae, managing director of Golden Casket (Greenock) Ltd and chairman of Greenock Morton Football Club, for services to Business and the community in Renfrewshire.

  • Timothy Steiner, founder and chief executive officer of Ocado, for services to the economy.


  • Rajeeb Dey, founder of Enternships, for services to entrepreneurship.

  • Alexandra Depledge and Thomas Nimmo, co-founders of, for services to the sharing economy.

  • Bonamy Grimes and Barry Smith, co-founders of Skyscanner, for services to technology and travel.

  • Ben Medlock and Jonathan Reynold, co-founders of Swiftkey, for services to technology.

  • Wendy Tan-White, co-Founder of Moonfruit, for services to technology businesses.

  • Sara Davies, founder of Crafter’s Companion, for services to the Economy.

  • Simon Duffy and Rhodri Ferrier, co-founders of Bulldog, for services to the beauty industry.

  • Alice Bentinck and Matt Clifford, co-founders of Entrepreneur First, for services to business.

  • Mike Butcher, editor-at-large, TechCrunch, for services to technology and journalism.

  • Carol Fitzsimons, chief executive of Young Enterprise Northern Ireland, for services to youth entrepreneurship and enterprise.

  • Romy Gill, founder of Romy’s Kitchen, for services to the hospitality industry.

  • Jayne Graham, founder and consultant at 2020 Consulting and founder of Colleagues on Tap, for services to small businesses in the North East of England.

  • Jess Jeetly, founder and managing director of Jeetly, for services to entrepreneurship.

  • Jennifer Johnson, chief executive officer of Kids Allowed, for services to apprenticeships.

  • Ren Kapur, founder and chief executive officer of X-Forces Ltd, for services to entrepreneurship.

  • Rachel Mallows, director of the Mallows Company and Made In Northamptonshire, for services to business and entrepreneurship.

  • Mark Moran, inventor of The Hydrant Drinking System, for services to innovation and entrepreneurship.

  • Anthony Pile, entrepreneur and founder of Blue Skies Holdings, for services to international business.

  • Emma Sinclair, entrepreneur and co-founder of EnterpriseJungle, for services to entrepreneurship.

  • Neil Thomas, founder of Atelier One, for services to architecture, design and engineering.

  • James Watt and Martin Dickie, co-founders of BrewDog, for services to the brewing industry.

  • Dawn Whiteley, chief executive of the National Enterprise Network, for services to business support and enterprise.

  • Jean Wilson, founder of New Hope Charity, Worcestershire, for services to children.

  • BEM

  • Aaron Jones, founder of Fikay Fashion, for services to ethical fashion.

  • Kirsty Loveday, founder and managing director of Love Drinks, for services to the drinks industry.


Minutes of the 2016 AGM

6 September 2016 – Room M, Portcullis House

Present: Alan Mak MP; Peter Kyle MP; The Earl of Erroll; The Lord Taylor of Warwick; The Lord Cromwell; Mr Philip Salter (The Entrepreneurs Network); Representative of Anne Marie Morris MP.

Chairman’s Report

  • Alan Mak MP welcomed everyone to the meeting, thanked them for attending, and outlined the APPG’s activity since the launch in June 2016.
  •  He noted that there has been lots of interest from Members of both Houses, the entrepreneurship community, and other organisations. The launch event was very well attended and so far the APPG has had an encouraging and successful start to its first year.
  • Alan briefly outlined the forthcoming programme of events and noted that David Gauke MP and Seema Malhotra MP have agreed to speak, with more speakers to be confirmed soon now the Government reshuffle is complete.

Statement from Secretariat and Treasurer’s Report

  • Philip Salter introduced himself as Director of The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN), which is the Secretariat of the APPG. Philip explained the APPG’s four policy streams in more detail (tax reform, exporting, female founders, and enterprise education) and outlined the plan for the year ahead
  • The APPG will hold a series of ‘power lunches’ with entrepreneurs, in order to extract questions that will be put into a survey of TEN members and a subsequent call for evidence. The results from that process will be put into a policy report to be launched next summer, a year on from the APPG launch event.
  • Philip invited those attending the AGM to put him in contact with any interested individuals or organisations that might wish to contribute to the work of the APPG.

Election of Officers

  • Alan Mak MP proposed that all the existing Officers be re-elected. Lord Erroll seconded that proposal, and the AGM agreed this unanimously.  


  • One attendee made a point about the need to make sure ethnic minority entrepreneurs are not neglected in the work of the APPG; another raised the issue of ensuring the APPG was not entirely London-centric.
  • Peter Kyle MP suggested looking at entrepreneurial options for fundraising, including events outside Parliament with a charge for attendance.
  • Alan Mak MP concluded the meeting and thanked everyone for coming.