The Coalition Government has killed Enterprise in the UK

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Enterprise UK was the body set up to promote entrepreneurialism in the UK. It was started by people like the CBI and British Chamber of Commerce and had that Peter Jones from Dragon’s Den as the Chairman.

Precisely the sort of organisation that would be favoured by Tories (and their Lib Dem minions) who get all excited by enterprise and who have gambled all their money on a private sector-led recovery for the UK economy. Except not.

Enterprise UK got most of its money from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. This week, the Enterprise UK Chief Exec had to declare:

I’m writing to update you about the position of Enterprise UK, following the government’s decision to end our grant-in-aid funding from April 2011.

Since the announcement in December 2010, I have been working closely with staff, trustees and key stakeholders looking in detail at the implications of these cuts and the options for the charity to continue in some way post-April, albeit in a different guise. The proposals we considered included the establishment of a legacy organisation to take forward initiatives like Global Entrepreneurship Week and our various other enterprise education programmes.

Following a meeting of the Board of Trustees on 24th January where full consideration was given to all the options, we have decided to instigate an orderly wind down of the charity with immediate effect. We will still be delivering on some key operational activities like Tenner during March, but we also aim to have closed down our offices and activities by the end of April 2011.

A microcosm-like example of how private enterprise so often depends on a bit of public spending to keep it going? Instead of being mutually exclusive, private and public sectors can be mutually dependent.

This doesn’t bode well for any of us.

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