The purpose of the British Business Bank is to make sure that smaller UK businesses have access to the finance that they need to invest, to grow and to achieve their ambitions. This is a mission I care passionately about and have dedicated a large part of my business career to advancing. The Bank has an already vital and growing role to play in furthering that mission, which is why I am so pleased to be joining as its new chair.
I join the organisation at a critical time for smaller businesses across the UK and for the British Business Bank itself.
It is obvious to say that our small businesses face a period of change. What is now clear is that the scale of this change is unprecedented in the experience of most of our entrepreneurs. Their ability to weather the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities that this change is bringing will determine the long-term strength of our economy. If smaller businesses are winning, at home and abroad, so too is our society and economy. The converse is also true.
The British Business Bank stands ready to play its part in supporting our smaller businesses to succeed. In a short space of time the Bank has demonstrated an ability to make things better and easier for smaller businesses, though more can and will be done. It has also built a centre of expertise and a business capable of scaling up quickly, taking on new responsibilities and a broader remit should the opportunity arise. I am confident that we will see our organisation grow and expand in the coming years, only and always with the objective of furthering its mission.
My immediate priority, on becoming chair, is to meet with a wide group of smaller businesses and their representatives to gain a better understanding of how the British Business Bank can best make a difference. I am looking forward to working with the Bank’s team and our colleagues in Government, including our Minister Margot James. Together, and with our partners, we should make a formidable team, working on behalf of the UK’s 5.5m smaller businesses.