Sir Alan Sugar named as enterprise tsar

Sir Alan Sugar has been appointed as the UK's enterprise champion by prime minister Gordon Brown.

In the unpaid role, the entrepreneur will work closely with small business minister Shriti Vadera and trade and investment minister Mervyn Davis to advise on how growing firms can be helped.

Sir Alan will work to ensure small businesses make effective use of the support being offered by the government and other groups, as well promoting their interests with banks.

He is also expected to voice the concerns of entrepreneurs and small firms to the government and larger suppliers, while other responsibilities could include looking at conditions affecting start-ups, prompt payments, access to finance and how to tackle the recession’s impact.

The move has been welcomed by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which points out that it has been campaigning for a corporate mediator to work with firms and lenders.

John Wright, national chairman of the groups, comments: ‘The appointment of enterprise champion Sir Alan, with his stature and no-nonsense approach, should help compel the banks to lend fairly to viable small firms.’

Previous research from the FSB found that over 70 per cent of its members believe a corporate mediator would help improve their relationships with lenders.

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