When David Irwin joined the UK Small Business Service as its first Chief Executive he had an uphill task – getting civil servants to understand enterprise promotion. One of the first things he did was to get all the bureaucrats in the agency to visit small businesses across the UK for several days each year to better understand their needs, their concerns, and their pains. In just two years, the Small Business Service had emerged as a strong voice for small business at the heart of government, and was at the forefront of advocating the case for an improved regulatory environment. In recognition of his continued efforts to support SMEs, David was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2009.
I was privileged to have spoken with him on the sidelines of a recent workshop. We talked about how a public agency can support enterprise development and what the role of government is in helping SMEs. Our chat is captured in this latest edition of ‘The Curionomist Podcasts’, embedded below. Just click to listen, for about 12 minutes.