Local enterprise partnerships are dominated by large businesses to the detriment of growth in our communities. Small businesses account for 47% of the UK’s private sector employment and around a third of turnover, but they are being left out of the loop when it comes to shaping and nurturing local economic growth.
The word ‘economy’ can be traced back to the Greek word oikonomos, – ‘one who manages a household’. However, the idea that the economy is intimate and social is often lost from modern day economic discussions. Indeed, all too often the social sphere, is seen as an assumed outcome of economic activity, rather than a planned for and locked-in necessity.
This connectedness with the social sphere should be central to any local economic development. What is the point of local economic development if it does not deliver social outcomes or address poverty? In this we need to think about building a local civil economy – an economy which is decent, fair and works for people.