Back to News

Unleashing the potential of SME’s: My personal reflection on the ‘Generation Growth: The Small Business Manifesto’

Article written by Daniel Mailly – GSS CEO

It turns out that participating in Goldman Sachs ‘Generation Growth: The Small Business Manifesto’ event at Mansion House wasn’t just an engagement in my diary; it was a moment of revelation about the critical crossroads where UK SMEs stand today.

I want to share my unfiltered thoughts, shaped by the Manifesto but rooted in my experience as a CEO of SME’s.

SME’s: The Under-appreciated Pillars of Our Economy

Let’s be clear: SME’s are the under-appreciated engine of the UK economy. Representing 99% of businesses in the UK and employing over 60% of the workforce, our role is monumental. Yet, our contributions are often lost in the noise of political rhetoric and ineffective policies. It’s not just frustrating; it’s economically foolish.

Goldman Sachs’ 10k Programme: A Glimpse of What’s Possible

Programmes like #GS10ksb amplify this strength, showing what can be achieved when we unite behind a common goal. This sense of solidarity is not just about business growth; it’s about shaping a more robust economic future for the UK.

We’re not looking for handouts, but we do demand the opportunity to showcase our potential.

‘Productivity Heroes’: More Than a Buzzword

This term in the Manifesto, ‘Productivity Heroes’, resonates with me. It’s not corporate fluff; it’s about businesses like mine pushing the envelope and striving for growth amidst challenging climates. But let’s be clear: without governmental foresight and substantial backing, these efforts are like swimming through treacle.

Political Discourse: More Genuine Policies, Less BS

The dialogue around SMEs in political circles often feels like it’s in a parallel universe, disconnected from the gritty realities we face. One such reality is the likelihood of a Labour Government.

The event offered a mixed landscape. Former Cabinet Members George Osborne and Ed Balls provided a breath of fresh air, showcasing a deeper understanding and a liberated perspective since moving to the private sector. In contrast, others, notably Rushinara Ali MP, seemed entrenched in the same worn-out political rhetoric. We didn’t attend this event for comforting platitudes; we came seeking robust, long-term strategies that truly recognise and support the driving force of SMEs in our economy.

Rushinara’s performance was disheartening, to say the least. If she represents Labour’s attempt to assure SME’s of a secure and prosperous future, it’s a worrying sign. Where was the foresight? The detailed policies? The audacity to lead? Instead, we witnessed a lacklustre display, fixated more on scoring points against the opposition than presenting a compelling vision for SMEs.

Labour must step up if they wish to convince me that they can competently steward the UK economy. We need to see a clear, ambitious vision. Engage constructively with the EU, deliver bold policy statements, and show us a plan that says, ‘We understand SMEs, and we’re committed to working alongside you.’

Brexit: The Elephant in the Room

The biggest applause of the day was reserved for George Osborne’s line, “Brexit has been an economic and political disaster’.

Let’s not beat around the bush: Brexit has been more than just a ‘challenge’. It’s reshaped our entire operating landscape. The consensus at the event? It’s been a rough ride, and it’s time for tangible actions and policies that help us navigate these new waters.

A Note of Thanks and a Call to Action

My thanks to Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and the insightful speakers at the event. To Richard Gnodde and Charlotte Keenan, seeing you again after seven years was a highlight.

To Rushinara Ali MP, Kevin Hollinrake MP and others in the political sphere, it’s time to roll up your sleeves. We need a vision and actions, not just words.

Final Thoughts: Embracing the Journey Ahead

The term ‘The journey is the reward’ resonates with me; it captures the exhilaration and fulfilment I’ve experienced leading an SME. These years have been more than just a professional endeavour; they’ve been a thrilling adventure, filled with learning, growth, and undeniable passion.

Looking ahead, I am filled with anticipation and optimism for the next decade. As CEO of an SME, I see a future brimming with opportunities, challenges to overcome, and milestones to achieve. It’s a journey I embrace wholeheartedly, ready to steer Global Support Services (UK) Ltd through the evolving economic landscape, contributing significantly to the UK’s story of resilience and innovation.