Small and medium UK technology companies lack marketing skills, financial management and "sheer entrepreneurial flair", according to a report released this week by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
The report, sponsored by venture capital group 3I, looks at common barriers to growth that hamper smaller technology-based firms in the UK, which it refers to as 'Tech Stars'. It suggests ways in which the government and the financial, academic and business communities can help overcome the barriers, focusing particularly on creating more effective management teams.
Norman Price, chair of the CBI?s Tech Stars working group, which is examining the issue, said: ?All growing business have problems but Tech Stars have particular difficulties in putting management teams together, breaking into new markets and raising the finance to fund high investment needed in products, process and market development.?
Measures urged by the report include creating teams of experts to work with firms that have difficulty raising finance; setting up sector-specific networks of experienced industrialists, who could be matched with Tech Stars in need of management; and the creation of local business links to help build management teams around new technology developments.
It also suggests that banks should be called on to explore more creative ways of funding technology firms and that the Department of Trade and Industry should set up a unit to co-ordinate government action and act as a centralised source of information. Tax breaks for owner-managers wishing to invest in their own businesses will also be encouraged.
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