Business Connect, launched this week, creating a new platform for businesses to engage with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s pro-growth, pro-enterprise Government, as part of efforts to deliver on the people’s priorities to grow the economy.
Over 200 of the UK’s highest profile CEOs and c-suite business leaders gathered in London for the event, representing key growth sectors including tech, life sciences and advanced manufacturing.
Speaking directly to delegates at the event, the Prime Minister underlined his commitment to optimise the conditions for businesses to thrive and in turn, drive growth – recognising that Government cannot achieve its economic priorities alone.
As a result of increasing business confidence in the UK, latest figures show 1,800 jobs a month have been created since October.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“I am working every day on our five priorities – to halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut waiting lists and stop the boats.
“Business Connect provides the next fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how we are growing the economy. We are bringing together some of the UK’s biggest companies and investors for meaningful dialogue – and I’m a Prime Minister passionate about working with business to unlock opportunity and progress.
“Since taking office, I’ve spoken to over 1,000 business people – because they are the innovators and change-makers at the heart of our economy, supporting jobs, attracting investment and driving growth.
“The UK can be proud of its business credentials. Through the creation of 162 tech unicorns, smarter regulation and world-leading universities – we’ve got the right ingredients to double down on growing the economy.”
In his first ever LinkedIn Live event on Monday morning, a range of entrepreneurs, SMEs, innovators and young people, who are key to growing the economy, had the opportunity to ask the Prime Minister any business question – whether that’s looking at the future of British fintech or how we can reach net zero.
Building on his long-term plans to create a more innovative economy, the Prime Minister unveiled a new ‘innovation’ category at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, hosted by the Chancellor at Downing Street. The new award recognised bright, innovative ideas that deliver new products and services and can drive our economy forward.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said:
“We want the UK to be the best place in the world to start, grow and invest in a business. At Spring Budget we took steps to reduce business taxation, boost access to talent, and get smarter with our regulation – and that was just the beginning.
“It’s absolutely vital that we’re listening to – and working with – industry leaders, innovators and disruptors as we deliver on our priority to grow the economy.”
Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said:
“The UK succeeds when our businesses succeed. Our door is always open at the Department for Business and Trade, we’re here to help companies bring in valuable investment, create jobs and grow the economy.
“By securing high-quality trade deals, scrapping market access barriers around the world and cutting needless red tape that holds businesses back, I will ensure the UK remains one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business.”
Debra Crew, CEO-designate, Diageo, said:
“Such high level engagement by the Prime Minister and other members of the Government is really welcome for Diageo. We see Business Connect as a great opportunity to promote international trade in Scotch and spirits, an export powerhouse that is bringing jobs and investment to Scotland and across the UK.”
C.S. Venkatakrishnan, Group Chief Executive, Barclays, said:
“I am pleased to join the UK Government and business leaders in the discussion about the growth opportunities that lie ahead for the United Kingdom. The UK continues to be a prominent financial centre that sits at the heart of global capital markets and Barclays continues to support the UK Government’s ambitious plans to drive prosperity and economic growth for people and businesses here in the UK and beyond.”
Alex Baldock, Group Chief Executive, Currys PLC, said:
“It’s important that business can make its voice heard in government at events like this. Given the size of the retail sector in the UK, we’re well placed to help power the UK’s growth.”