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Unleashing Generation Growth: Goldman Sachs Unveils Small Business Manifesto

Seven Hills supported the launch of Goldman Sachs’ groundbreaking report, which provides actionable policy recommendations to fuel growth, innovation, and job creation in small businesses nationwide

The Seven Hills team is proud to have supported Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme in launching ‘Generation Growth: The Small Business Manifesto’, a roadmap for how we create a new generation of growth firms, with policy recommendations that the next government could implement to unlock the UK’s economic potential.

The Manifesto: Identifying Challenges and Solutions

Despite a surge in small business creation over the past decade, with 400,000 new businesses added to the economy since 2008, including 100,000 since 2018 alone, the report reveals that the number of productive businesses—those capable of achieving both revenue and headcount growth—has stagnated, signalling a significant productivity gap in the UK economy.

The Small Business Manifesto, backed by research and analysis from their partners Aston University and Saïd Business School, outlines a series of policy recommendations targeting critical obstacles to small businesses, such as access to finance, talent and skills acquisition, late payments, and digital infrastructure, and calls upon the government to collaborate closely with small businesses to implement targeted solutions that foster growth and innovation.

The report estimates that implementing this strategy could create an additional 22,000 ‘Productivity Heroes’—businesses that are not only creating jobs, but also growing revenue even more—ultimately unlocking over £100 billion in potential revenue and close to 90,000 job opportunities for small businesses across the UK.

Since launching, the report has received significant media coverage from BBC Radio 4, BBC Today Programme, BBC 5 Live: Wake Up to Money, The Times, Evening Standard, City AM, Sky News’ Ian King, with Head of Corporate Engagement UK and 10,000 Small Businesses at Goldman Sachs Charlotte Keenan sharing the findings of the manifesto.

The Official Launch Event

On Tuesday, the Seven Hills and Goldman Sachs teams met at Mansion House, home to the Lord Mayor of London, for the official launch event, attended by over 260 business leaders and alumni of the 10,000 Small Businesses programme. Moderated by Seven Hills Chair and co-founder Michael Hayman, we heard from a wide range of speakers on how we can unlock small business growth.

In her opening remarks, Charlotte Keenan outlined the significance of SMEs, which make up 99% of the UK economy: “small businesses are not just a part of the British economy. Frankly, they are the British economy.” This sentiment was echoed throughout the day by politicians and business leaders alike, with Minister for Small Business Kevin Hollinrake, MP stating that “the government recognises this year as the year of the SME”, Shadow Small Business Minister Rushanara Ali, MP commending the essential efforts of small businesses during COVID-19, and Goldman Sachs International CEO Richard Gnodde advocating for greater government focus on building a business-oriented culture of ambition and growth.

Lisa Donnelly, Chief Administrative Officer, EMEA at Goldman Sachs, hosted a panel with 10,000 businesses alumni Ada Jabaru of Nistad Limited and Jason Holt CBE of Metaverse Learning, who gave insights on the vital ingredients for generating growth from an SME leadership perspective, speaking alongside Stephen Welton CBE, Chair of the British Business Bank, who remarked that the best policies are long term: “the question isn’t whether the government supports small businesses, because they do. The question is how can we effectively ensure that policy is delivering the outcomes we want?”

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls also took the stage for a fireside chat with Goldman Sachs’ Chief of Staff Russell Horwitz about the needs of the business sector, building the economy for growth, and their predictions for the upcoming election.

Looking Forward: Driving Economic Growth

As the UK charts a path towards economic recovery and prosperity, initiatives like Generation Growth are vital in ensuring that small businesses, the backbone of the economy, are equipped with the resources and support needed to thrive.

With its comprehensive approach and ambition, the Small Business Manifesto lays the groundwork for a brighter future for small businesses across the UK.

Read the full report here

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Chapter 1 outlines the concept of mission and how the breakthrough brands of today have succeeded by building a mission that inspires belief, generates a following and instils a purpose beyond profit.