Making up 99 per cent of all UK businesses, small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are the driving force behind Britain’s economy. Against the backdrop of the current economic downturn, a new report suggests that SMEs should harness their powers of innovation for increased opportunities moving forward.
UK companies attracted over £1 billion of venture capital and private equity finance into renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies in 2007 – more than twice that of any other European country and 41 per cent of the EU total. ‘The Race to Capture the Carbon Pound: The UK’s place in the global market for low carbon innovation’ was commissioned by Shell Springboard, a programme that provides a financial boost to innovative, low carbon business ideas from across the UK. It reveals that UK SMEs in particular attracted a significant share (43 per cent) of the £755 million private equity investment in European low carbon small businesses between January 2006 and March 2008. Perhaps the confidence shot that SMEs need given the current conditions?
The research suggests that the global low carbon energy market opportunity could reach £2,000 billion per annum by 2030.
James Smith, chairman of Shell UK, said: “We have to tackle climate change and that creates a big opportunity for small business. This research shows the size of the prize and that British business ingenuity is already making an impact.”
Lord Oxburgh, former chairman of the House of Lords Committee on Science and Technology recently chaired an in-depth roundtable on the insightful report. Twelve leading figures on climate change gathered to debate the opportunities and challenges faced by low carbon innovators, the characteristics of low carbon markets in the UK, and the type of government support that is needed to bolster innovation in this sector.
*source-InTheNews.co.uk – London,UK