These three priorities are changing the face of business

You might not realise it but there’s a group of business experts championing the cause of entrepreneurs on a global scale. Here’s what their priorities are.

The G7 is an international forum that brings together the leaders of seven of the world’s key democracies to discuss how they can collectively improve economic and financial conditions on a global scale.The current members include the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Japan, Italy, and the United States (the European Union is also included). This year it’s happening in Quebec, Canada on June 8th.

The B7 is a group of Western industry federations who support the G7 with recommendations aimed at improving the rights and interests of business. They’re extremely effecting at lobbying the cause and as such the information and insights they provide directly impact global policy.

By taking action on points provided by the B7, G7 has a chance to boost global economic growth, improve sustainable practicses and stimulate prosperity. This year, the B7 Summit came up with the following priorities to achieve these outcomes:

• Inclusive growth
• Resource efficiency
• Scaling-up small businesses

Here’s an in-depth look at the ins and outs of those priorities – and at what they might mean for your business.

Priority 1 – Inclusive Growth

Economic growth needs to benefit everyone. Shared equity, equal opportunities and protection in employment and the market lead to a win/win for society. Simply put; if more people can participate in society and the benefits of a strong economy, quality of life and economic growth will increase for everyone.

For example, more than 60% of Britons living in poverty are in working families. If work no longer works for people, society needs government to step in and look at the labour market and the distribution of opportunity. We explored this concept in more detail in ‘Is entrepreneurship a priviledge of the priviledged?’ and the ‘Top 4 cities to start a business outside the M25’. Economic opportunities must be extended to all people, regardless of race, gender, sexuality and alternative abilities.

As such, one of the key recommendations of the B7 was to make sure inclusive growth was pushed politically, in order to stimulate new markets and provide greater inclusion in existing markets.

Priority 2 – Climate change and resource efficiency

The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent. The way we use natural resources and power our way of life needs reexamining in order to protect the environment and ensure sustainable useage for our collective futures.

The G7 governments need to provide more effective and collaborative approach to fixing this issue. Businesses often have a global footprint which means they’re in a prime position to both lead and benefit from innovation that decreases energy usage, builds global policy and adjusts resource efficiency.

Priority 3 – Scaling up small businesses

Of all the priorities, this one has the largest potential to create real change for small businesses. Small businesses are supporting large amounts of the world economy – in some instances they’re providing 50% of GDP and 56% of total employment. To ignore the contribution of small businesses when compared to existing multinationals would be a mistake.

The B7 is recommending that goverments should focus on creating public policy tools which empower small businesses, by giving them access to the kind of funding, technology and support that shifts them from survival mode and into thriving and growth.

Public policy tools to stimulate small business growth

Public policy tools have the power to transform the way businesses do business. Here’s a breakdown of the key areas which could directly impact your business from the B7 press release of recommendations:

Tax policies

Having a flexible approach to tax policies which reward entrepreneurship are essential to provoke the innovation required to stimulate the econonomy and further the goals of society. Understanding that the modern path into business (i.e. the start-up scene) is about moving in phases instead of a one stop brick-and-mortar investment means some entrepreneurs don’t get the tax benefits and support that would keep their businesses growing. By including them in an advisory body to the government, a fairer and more realistic tax system could be implemented.

Small business visibility

Giving small businesses a point of contact within government means navigating complex regulations becomes instantly easier. It also means that the plight of small businesses would be given more prominence throughout government.

Digital technology

If small businesses have access to digital infrastructure and the latest innovative technology, they immediately become better equipped to make the most of the efficiency and productivity benefits which come with them. Doing business becomes easier, because connections are easier to facilitate. Also important is the rise of cyber crime and how being able to defend against cyber attacks isn’t just a matter of lost data; GDPR legislation has made data security a legal requirement. The B7 has requested the following to help push the digital agenda: “SMEs should be permitted to write off 100% of their business investments in advanced technologies, including cybersecurity software and equipment in the year those investments are made.”

Small businesses winning government contracts

Small businesses should have the same opportunities to pitch and win government contracts. In order to gain an equal footing, the B7 want more transparency and accessibility in requirements, which would allow businesses more of an equal footing. We wrote about how the UK government is committed to awarding contracts to small businesses.

International expansion

A relatively untapped market for small businesses lines beyond their own borders and in international territory. Helping them to explore opportunity should be a priority of G7 governments. Initiatives like “full of partial reimbursement, tax credits” as well as signposting support from key individuals would help to provide an international support network for small businesses working across the G7 network.

Workplace diversity

Diversity is more than a buzzword. The recommendation from the B7 is for governments to create more resources that make it easier to create safe and diverse workforces, which in turns raises happiness and productivity.

Support female-owned businesses

The B7 identified that a key challenge facing female entrepreneurs is funding. While the funding sources are out there, women are turned down more often than men when applying. To address this imbalance, the B7 says; “G7 countries should ensure that women have the training, mentoring, role modeling and confidence to create, grow and scale their businesses. Attracting women into scalable small businesses can be a major driver of inclusive growth.”

G7 2018 and beyond

The recommendations from the B7 are comprehensive and impact many vital areas of business. Most importantly they’re achievable. With practical advice and tangible ways to make changes, the G7 nations have an opportunity to make a real impact on the business world. The future is full of exciting opportunities for growth.