The CBI Conference: Mandelson wants business 'heroes'

PETER MANDELSON, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, yesterday called for a sea-change in cultural attitudes towards business and promised new measures to encourage and protect entrepreneurs.

Addressing the CBI conference in Birmingham, Mr Mandelson said: "We want a society that celebrates and values its business heroes as much as it does pop stars and footballers."

Mr Mandelson said it was vital to tackle the "stigma of failure" that deterred so many entrepreneurs. "In the US some of the most successful entrepreneurs are those who have failed once or twice. Banks and societies as a whole don't write people off as failures. They see them as people who have learned. People who are worth backing again."

The Trade and Industry Secretary went on to flesh-out plans first outlined on a visit to the US last month to give entrepreneurs more protection.

The Government is now carrying out a review of corporate rescue procedures, including the Crown's privileged position as a creditor when firms go bust owing tax or VAT revenues.

A second review has been launched to see whether the law can be changed to reduce the stigma of financial failure.

Mr Mandelson emphasised that this was not a "rogue's charter". Rather it would ensure that undue obstacles were not placed in the way of those who had tried but failed.

He said that New Labour had no "guilt-ridden hang-ups about people making themselves rich as a result of genuine entrepreneurial success".

But he took a side-swipe at fat cats saying people at every level of society had to take responsibility for "the pay increases they demand and, in some cases, award themselves".

Mr Mandelson also appeared to hint that he could yet set tougher thresholds for automatic recognition of unions in the workplace.

The Government's White Paper on Fairness at Work says that where 50 per cent of a workforce is in union membership there will be an automatic right to recognition.

But in his speech yesterday he said that the fairness at work proposals would provide trade unions with enforceable recognition rights "where this is supported by a clear majority of the workforce".

Elsewhere, Mr Mandelson said the Government would use its increasing influence in Europe to push for greater labour market flexibility, more competition and increased capital market liberalisation.

He also pledged that Britain would maintain its position as a reliable base for inward investment.

There would be no reversion to Labour's "interventionist instincts of the past", he promised. The emphasis would be on helping markets work more efficiently, not planning the economy.

"Businesses' overriding responsibilities are to win markets and make profits. Government's is to concentrate on getting the environment right."

Mr Mandelson also took a side-swipe at the Stock Exchange, saying it needed to take a good look at itself because there was an "enormous amount of self-satisfaction" about the place.

He promised that the Government would ensure that the regulatory framework promoted, not impeded, the development of enterprise and improve access to venture capital for growing high-tech companies.

He also pledged to make Britain "the most business friendly environment in the world" for the development of electronic commerce and knowledge- based industries.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
News
people
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

BA/PM,EMIR/Dodd-Frank,London,£450-650P/D

£450 - £650 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Senior Analyst - ALM Data - Banking - Halifax

£350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Analyst, ALM Data, Halifax, ...

Java developer - Banking - London - Up to £600/day

£500 - £600 per day: Orgtel: Java developer - Banking - London - Up to £600/d...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star