The Productivity Puzzle: Supporting UK SMEs | IPT
Chair: Adrian Bailey MP, House of Commons
Speaker: Chris Manson, Chief Executive Officer, Newable
Speaker: Professor Martin Spring, Director of the Centre for Productivity and Efficiency, Lancaster University
Dinner Discussion


Monday 10 June 2019


House of Commons

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End Time:


Improving productivity is one of the main goals of the Government’s Industrial Strategy and SMEs represent 99% of all private sector businesses and 60% of all private sector employment. The combined turnover of UK SMEs is £1.8 trillion but productivity rates are 17% below the G7 average and 30% below Germany. UK SMEs could add a further £57 billion a year to the UK economy if they were as productive as Germany’s. Research shows that more than two-thirds of SME decision makers believe improving productivity is important but over two-fifths don’t know what productivity means in practice, with many small businesses too stretched by day-to-day challenges to review their practices. Three years on from the Mayfield Review, how can SME’s tackle the challenge of poor productivity and be an engine of growth for the UK?

This dinner discussion will:

  • Explore how SME owners can supported in thinking about the long-term, including issues such as management practice, automation and new technologies
  • Consider how best practice can be shared across the SMEs to improve productivity, including through the Be the Business initiative
  • Examine how the Government can support SMEs in taking advantage of new opportunities once the UK leaves the EU.