My good friend andÂ Green New Deal colleague draw my attention to a new report, published yesterday by the New Weather Institute:
As the blurb says:
There is an emerging entrepreneurial revolution inÂ UK cities being missed by policy makers, says aÂ new book published by the New Weather InstituteÂ on 24 March, the last working day beforeÂ power is devolved to Manchester in theÂ first major devolution deal.
The revolution in â€˜ultra-localâ€™ economics is a vitalÂ source of prosperity for places left high-and-dryÂ by downturn and the global economy, andÂ strengthens their powers of self-determination.
But this shift is going unmeasured andÂ unacknowledged. Whitehall canâ€™t see it,Â policy-makers donâ€™t track it or support it, and theÂ high street banks have no interest in providing for their needs. In the vacuum left byÂ investors or Whitehall grants, local people are beginning to innovate for themselves rather than wait for economic salvation. Promisingly, several examples of the entrepreneurial revolution are in sectors key to the UKâ€™s transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy.
The book Prosperity Parade is funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust and provides eight in-depth stories of the new entrepreneurs on the front line.
â€œWe realised that one reason national politicians have not grasped what is happening is that they donâ€™t hear the stories,â€ says author David Boyle. â€œStories are the stock-in-trade of politicians. Without them, they donâ€™t see things. So we have been to meet the new entrepreneurs to tell their stories â€“ of big ideas and hurdles and re-thought plans and the difference they can make.â€
The book will be launched at a breakfast seminar at 9am, on 24 March, at the Local Government Association, SW1P 3HZ (to attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org) chaired by economics commentator Aditya Chakrabortty fromÂ The GuardianÂ and with speakers including:
- Baroness Kramer, Lib Dem economics spokesperson and a former member of the Banking Commission, set up after the 2008 crash.
- Lord Glasman, Blue Labour peer.
- Ed Mayo, chief executive of Co-ops UK.
- Professor Richard Sennett, author ofÂ The Fall of Public ManÂ andÂ The Craftsman.
- How a small group of growers are turning Manchesterâ€™s food system inside out.
- How they wired-up Bath to earn money from its own energy.
- The story behind the success of the Bristol Pound, the Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter, and the Wessex Reinvestment Trust.
- How two towns analysed where local money was flowing to and made it flow better â€“ by tracking entrepreneurs (Totnes) or by investing local pension money (Preston).
â€œThe new entrepreneurial revolution is still below the radar of policy-makers,â€ said David Boyle. â€œWhat stops them noticing the emerging new local entrepreneurialism isnâ€™t intellectual doubts or snobbery, but a simple lack of stories.
â€œSo we have gathered eight tales about real people doing extraordinary things with their local economy, with local banks, local energy, local purchasing, local food and much more besides â€“ demonstrating just what power the new entrepreneurial revolution might have, if only we recognised and supported it.â€
The book urges the government to find ways of understanding the new entrepreneurs and their needs, of tracking their progress and entering a dialogue with them. In particular it calls on the government to provide for their borrowing and banking needs now that most banks have withdrawn from the SME market.