Prime Minister David Cameron has encouraged MPs to gain valuable ‘work experience’ in local small firms by taking part in the Business Buddy scheme being run by the Forum of Private Business.
The scheme aims to foster a greater understanding of small businesses among politicians by providing them with hands-on experience of day-to-day life at a firm in their constituency.
“The coalition government is committed to making the coming decade the most entrepreneurial and dynamic in Britain’s history,” said Cameron, writing in support of the initiative.
“To make this a reality, we need to understand the real issues facing small firms on a day-to-day basis and use the information to help ensure entrepreneurs are given every opportunity to successfully start and grow their businesses.
The Prime Minister said he spent time visiting small firms in his West Oxfordshire constituency and praised the region’s diverse range of firms – from renewable energy companies to specialist shops and cutting-edge design businesses.
“I would encourage all MPs to take advantage of this opportunity to find out what it is really like to run a small firm,” he said.
Business secretary Vince Cable, shadow education secretary Andy Burnham and Green Party leader Caroline Lucas are also among the MPs, MSPs, Welsh Assembly members and MEPs to have signed up to Business Buddy.
The scheme came into being following Forum research in which 74% of members surveyed called on their elected representatives to focus on small firms in their constituencies.
Business Buddy is part of the Forum’s Get Britain Trading campaign, supported by politicians, entrepreneurs and business leaders including the former Dragons’ Den star James Caan.
The Forum is urging firms to show their support by signing up online at www.getbritaintrading.co.uk