Since its formation in 1999, the Genesis Initiative has worked as an ‘umbrella’ organization harnessing the collective strength of the trade associations, institutions and other groupings representing the SME sector.
Thus far, Genesis has committed support, through membership of its Senate, from over 117 organisations which collectively represent nearly 25% of the SME sector.
The Genesis Board of Directors and Senate include both senior industry figures and influential politicians from all political parties. They work with government and opposition ‘teams’ to encourage the adoption of policies allowing the SME sector to flourish, to the benefit of the UK economy.
Latest Research Report - BREXIT: Defending financial services in the SME sector
In its report Brexit: Defending SME jobs in the financial services sector, the Genesis Initiative describes how some 350,000 UK financial service jobs in the small-to-medium business category, a third of the sector, face daunting challenges arising from the uncertainty linked to Brexit. You can download the report here Brexit Defending financial services in the SME sector.
It is estimated that, amongst fund managers, for instance, MSMEs represent some 45% of jobs. Of £8tn funds managed by asset managers in the UK, 25% is managed on behalf of European clients. The report from the Genesis Initiative Financial Services Working Party notes that continuing access for UK MSME financial services entities to the Single Market and EU-authorised financial services entities to the UK, post BREXIT, is critical for these businesses and their clients.
Given that a mutual recognition regime between UK and EU will prove difficult, serious and assertive consideration must now be pursued on an “enhanced equivalence regime”. This would allow continued existing UK regulatory regime to be recognised as equivalent to the corresponding EU regime. As well as ensuring continued market access, and that selected services, products and activities of third-countries’ entities remain acceptable.
By their very nature SMEs lack the corporate capacity and in-depth resource to identify other means for unfettered access to markets, varying their business models or quickly adapting to changing circumstances. An abrupt raising of barriers will damage both SME financial service providers and their UK and EU clients across the wider EEA economy. An equivalence regime, albeit somewhat incomplete, and sometimes arbitrary and dependent on EU goodwill would, in the short-to-medium term, remove that risk to provide time to develop a more permanent approach during transition. The MSME sector in financial services deserves that breathing space.
The Genesis Initiative Financial Services Working Party
Dr David Doyle is an EU Policy expert specializing in financial services regulation, with long-standing relations with the EU institutions in Brussels, He is the EU Policy Director on the Genesis Initiative Board.
John May is the Chairman of the Genesis Initiative. He has been a practising Chartered Accountant for over 40 years, for many as a Senior Partner in the leading Chartered Accountancy firm, now Crowe. Today he focuses his experience on Boards needing his experience and corporate governance skills.
David Harvey is a Board member and now Chief Executive of the Genesis Initiative. David is both a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. He is Chair of the global Family Firm Institute.
The Genesis Policy Agenda
Genesis delivers an ongoing programme of public policy work in areas of concern for the Senate, which it sees as critical for the UK SME economy. Presently policy working parties are focused on:
- SME and the tax system
- Commonwealth trade
- Securing the future of SME financial service businesses through Brexit
- Creative businesses – particularly film
- Access to finance
- SME food businesses
Policy programmes generally consist of a series of workshops and seminars driving towards policy recommendations for the government or opposition parties, developed on a cross-party basis.
At the time of forthcoming General Elections to the House of Commons, Genesis draws together and publishes its manifesto of SME sector-friendly policies, and these recommendations are available for all political parties to adopt in their own election manifestos. The editorial process for the Manifesto draws together leadership and ideas from across the wide range of Genesis Senate members to set out a comprehensive policy agenda for the SME sector in the UK.
In anticipation of the 2015 General Election, the most recent Genesis Manifesto was launched in late 2014. After the surprise 2017 election, a new Manifesto process will begin in 2018, while at the same time government will be pressed to deliver on the 2014 Manifesto agenda.
Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee
For several years, representatives from the trade association members of the Genesis Senate have met twice a year with representatives of the Greater London Agency of the Bank of England to discuss economic and business conditions affecting the SME sector.
These meetings form part of the overall information gathering the Bank undertakes on behalf of the Monetary Policy Committee to inform its quarterly decisions on setting interest rates.
Three times each Parliamentary session, Genesis organizes a breakfast in the House of Commons for the benefit of Senate Members. The guest speakers are usually drawn from senior Members of the Government Front Bench or Opposition Benches responsible for the SME Sector.
These breakfasts are normally followed by a meeting of the Genesis Senate, which allows trade bodies to bring forward issues related to Government policy that are causing problems for their members, or to feedback to other members on policy initiatives of which they may not be aware.
Senate meetings also provide the opportunity for external agencies and others to make presentations or speak to research papers which may of interest and benefit to Senate members and their own memberships.
From time to time, Genesis will also hold conferences and seminars on ‘hot topics’ relevant to the SME sector. A recent example has been a conference on alternatives methods of raising finance.
Genesis Manifesto November 2014
The Genesis 2014 Manifesto was successfully launched on Tuesday 18 November in the House of Lords.
Speakers praising the Manifesto included Brian Binley MP, Anne Marie Morris MP, Lord Cotter and Lord Harrison. The editor of the manifesto Ross Coates MBE spoke powerfully in support of small business, and Genesis sponsors, PRS for Music, also spoke of their new plans to forge closer links with the SME sector.
We are very proud of this contribution to policy relating to SME’s, and policy makers in and out of government will be asked to act on our recommendations.
Both the summary and full document can be accessed below: