IT was fitting that in the week of the impotent and Kafkaesque Budget, I would end up at the “Business Not as Usual” conference. It is a summit organised by the National Student Enterprise Conference, a grassroots movement of 35,000 UK university students. Leave it to the uncorrupted kids to get things right.
Victoria Lennox and Matthew Smith, who run the National Consortium of University Entrepreneurs (NACUE), have created a force in university entrepreneurship with little money.
What was missing from the Budget was the austerity that NACUE deals with. There was no admission that we live in a world with no money. Labour politicians keep talking about new programmes, despite the fact that there is no money to fund them.
This must be what it is like to be a trust fund child. To have regular income from your parents without having to work. That’s the principle our current government operates on.
The elephant in the room is the entrepreneur. We all seem to assume that the UK entrepreneur is going to continue to run the marathon hard despite being saddled with an economic climate lacking in confidence due to the high debt-to-GDP ratio and huge amounts of red tape.
I would have liked to have seen a Budget that bet on that entrepreneur running the marathon, one where everything was geared to breathe confidence and the expectation of success into the economy by reducing taxes so that the engine of society can take off.
Julie Meyer is chief executive of Ariadne Capital