This Lady's For Overturning

It's Party Conference season. The Liberal Democrats went first, and as it may not have escaped your notice, their platform is centred on overturning the Brexit referendum. So far it seems to be paying off – yesterday they overtook Labour in the polls.

But what about their other policies? Jo Swinson's leadership speech focused on social issues and didn't speak about policies impacting entrepreneurs, but Ed Davey's speech did. Davey is the Lib Dem's Spokesperson on the Treasury as well as Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and though these aren't manifesto commitments, they will be useful for understanding where things might be heading.

On Funding: "We will back enterprise in communities and towns across our regions by relaunching our Regional Growth Fund that worked so well, and regionalising the British Business Bank, which the Liberal Democrats set up."

On High Streets: "We will restore high streets in our towns and cities, devastated by business rates and unfair competition from the likes of Amazon. Our plans to reform and cut business rates will breathe in new life."

On Productivity: "Britain’s productivity problem hasn’t been tackled properly for decades. So I’m going to let you into a secret. About our confidential economic plan. How Liberal Democrats will make Britain more productive. We will invest. In people. Massive investment. In education. In training."

On Climate Change: "My first Liberal Democrat budget will be a budget for people and a budget for the planet. A Climate Emergency Budget. We will invest in new technologies, to help tackle climate change."

On Monday we will be at the Labour Conference and the following week at the Conservative one with the Female Founders Forum that we run with Barclays. You won't need a Conference pass and can still get tickets for Brighton (here) and Manchester (here). Like every event we do – they are free. Do pop in to say hello!

Tech Nation
Tech Nation – a government-funded organisation for tech entrepreneurs across the country – was born out of Tech City, which was originally created to support the East London tech scene (dubbed Silicon Roundabout). So did Tech City work? Despite some important qualifications, a new paper suggests that the "policy substantively increased cluster size and density, most clearly for the younger, newer group of digital tech plants, and with increasing impact over time." For anyone interested in cluster policy, I would reading the conclusion in full, as the lessons extend to the whole country.

Applications are now open for Tech Nation’s three leading growth programmes – Rising Stars, Upscale and Future Fifty. They cover everything from seed funding to pre-IPO. Find out more here.

Ready Steady
Will we leave the EU at the end of next month? It looks less likely than it once did. Nevertheless, the government is adamant: "The United Kingdom will leave the European Union on the 31 October 2019 and your business will need to take action to get ready." The government is hosting Get Ready For Brexit events across the UK that they've asked me to share with you:

• Birmingham – 27 September
• Hull – 3 October
• Leeds – 4 October
• Derry/Londonderry – 7 October
• Belfast – 8 October
• Cardiff – 14 October
• Leicester – 24 September
• Perth – 24 September
• Glasgow – 25 September
• London – 20 September
• Northampton – 16 September
• Nottingham – 17 September
• Sheffield – 23 September
• Swindon – 19 September

Find out more here.

Read the whole e-bulletin here, and sign up here.