Sarah Ward, our CEO, attended the House of Lords on 27th March 2018, after an exclusive invite to present the home and gift industry’s views at a Genesis Initiative meeting. The views were gathered through a survey sent out to the wider home and gift industry about their experiences in getting access to finance either through bursaries and grants or normal lending from their business banks.
Sarah is no stranger to the Initiative, having visited the Bank of England to present the thoughts and concerns of our members over the past few years, discussing the issues that the home and gift industry has faced. This is the first time she has had the incredible opportunity to take the results to the House of Lords and a discussion focussing on getting access to Finance.
The Genesis initiative is a senate set up to consult with business throughout the UK and feed its results back to government in an effort to guide policy that favours SMEs.
Sarah Ward said: “I am incredibly honoured to have been invited to such an exclusive event and be able to present, with various MPs, lenders and associations, our industry’s views on how they have accessed finance in the past, whether there have been barriers to it, or if there needs to be an education around it.” She continues, “It is massively important that the Giftware Association has been invited to this event as we are the voice of the industry we serve, and we can take your views and hopefully shape government policies with it.”
The results from the industry highlighted a need for further education around the process of accessing finance and where to look for it, with a large proportion of the survey respondents aware of some finance options, but not all, that would be suitable for them and an overarching theme of a lack of trust In the UK’s economy and banks. Some of the conversations and discussions had will create further projects amongst the Genesis Initiative about helping promote the UK lending market and to ensure every business has the right finance for their needs.
Adam Tyler, the Genesis Initiative director said: “We now need to consider the next phase and that will be to bring in the opinions of the Genesis Members, totalling around 1.2 million. The most straightforward way to get this started will be to ask a number of suitable questions to each audience.”
The central question the meeting was based around was: How can we make a change to ensure that the overall UK economy benefits from today’s positive business lending landscape? With the outcome being that SME’s need help with moving forward, and questions need to be asked to a wider audience to learn about SME’s needs and wants regarding finance, watch this space as we hear more about how the Genesis Initiative is committed to helping the business world.
The Giftware Association would like to thank all those that completed the survey for your thoughts and views.
Sarah will be attending another meeting at the House of Lords next week: the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. During the week commencing 16 April, at various locations in London, and across the country, leaders from business, politics, academia and culture will showcase the Commonwealth’s diverse network, exploring the prospects for collaboration and opportunities for trade among the 53 commonwealth countries. This meeting will also discuss business finance, among other issues, and we will report on the results of that meeting in May’s Giftwrap.