New proposals to encourage entrepreneurial activity in small businesses have been revealed by the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group.

The All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group’s Everyday Entrepreneurs Inquiry looked at how entrepreneurial activity can be encouraged and supported by central Government, both through initiatives at a local level and removing regulatory and financial barriers to growth in small businesses.

The inquiry featured several oral evidence sessions in Parliament where academics, business leaders and successful entrepreneurs shared their views on the measures that need to be put in place to support the next generation.

The recommendations resulting from the inquiry include:

• creating a new ‘entrepreneurs test’ that forms part of the Government’s impact assessment proposals for all new business regulations;

• allocating central government funding for a new mentoring programme to encourage local entrepreneurs into schools to inspire and educate young people about entrepreneurial career paths;

• providing clear and concise guidance on all new regulations that affect entrepreneurs, such as employment and pension law; and

• introducing tailored business rate reliefs for entrepreneurs operating on high streets and as an active part of their local communities.

All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group chair Simon Danczuk MP said: “The Government and media narrative surrounding entrepreneurs is often focused on glamorous high-tech, high-risk start-up companies, but this isn’t what makes our local economies and communities tick.

“It is the everyday entrepreneurs that are the backbone of the UK economy, those business people who serve their local communities day in and day out. We want to ensure policy-makers are mindful of the challenges faced by these businesses and can put in place measures that effectively support entrepreneurs in the future. We hope Ministers, their officials and Parliamentary colleagues will take note of the inquiry’s findings and keep the interests of Everyday Entrepreneurs in their minds when making policy decisions.”

David Warburton MP, treasurer of the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group, said: “As a former business owner I’m acutely aware of the need for guidance and encouragement in the early stages of setting up a small business and the importance of a stable framework to help move that business forward.

“Additionally, it’s vital that we continue to introduce young people to the potential rewards of entrepreneurship, giving them confidence to explore entrepreneurial ideas and establish their own businesses without the impediment of red tape and over-complicated bureaucracy. This inquiry is an important part of supporting the next generation of small business owners.”

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said: “Small business owners are subject to a large number of regulations which impose both financial and operational burdens on them and distract them from growing their business. The outcome of this inquiry highlights the importance of removing red tape for small businesses, whilst also encouraging Government to incentivise businesses that play a crucial role in their communities.”