Doing Business Together
Doing Business Together (DBT) is a Not-for-Profit organisation - including the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), British Bankers' Association (BBA), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), main banks, asset backed lenders, credit rating agencies, trade credit insurers, accounting bodies, employer and trade associations and service providers to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) - whose aim it is to help SMEs manage their own businesses better and obtain the finance and credit they require. The group has gained support from 35 leading UK organisations, including the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).
As Doing Business Together (DBT), these parties have established 'Operating Principles' as a common first level of understanding from which individual financial relationships can be extended and built on a 1:1 basis. Their purpose is to ensure that the relationship between SMEs and their finance and trade credit providers, is one of profitable partnership through a shared commitment to the principles of honesty and transparency.
The group's first 'Grass Roots' Forum took place on December 3rd 2010 in conjunction with the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. The event was attended by Rt Hon. Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade. Vince Cable, who is MP for Twickenham, was joined by Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park. The second 'Grass Roots' Forum took place on 25th February 2011 in conjunction with Macclesfield Chamber of Commerce and the the Forum of Private Business. It was attended by Rt Hon. George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer. George Osborne, who is MP for Tatton, was joined by David Rutley, MP for Macclesfield.
Christopher Poll, Chairman and CEO of Future Route/CreditPal, founded DBT "in an attempt to close the gap between SMEs and the finance and credit industry by facilitating an increase in awareness that will hopefully result in improved trust and understanding." He added "I am hopeful the endorsements of DBT's Operating Principles will be the first practical step in strengthening these individual financial relationships that are so vital if Small and Medium Enterprises are to recover and grow."
Earlier this year, Russel Griggs, Chairman of the CBI SME Committee, became DBT's chairman because "Doing Business Together personifies everything that all business should be doing today, which is working together to find the solutions we all need to successfully grow our economy into the future. While SMEs will have to adapt to the new economy and the changes in information provision that brings, so will others and we will only succeed if we all sit round the same table to do that."
Doing Business Together is supported by government and trade associations, including:
Vince Cable MP - Business Secretary
"Doing Business Together (DBT) is a fine initiative for getting business and finance institutions on the same page. There is too much misunderstanding and even mistrust between banks and their clients, which creates a barrier holding back firms, banks and the wider economy. The Operating Principles of DBT describe how this barrier can be broken down by taking a few clear, common sense steps. I regard DBT as a valuable initiative and wish to see it expand and develop."
The relationship between providers of finance and small businesses is one of profitable partnership through a shared commitment to the principles of honesty and transparency.
Honesty includes fairness and a commitment to transparency; which means making appropriate information accessible, including, for providers of finance, about process and decision-making.
Small business financial information for providers of finance is appropriate if it is relevant and reliable.
The annual statutory accounts of companies, for example, serve a general purpose and are prepared in accordance with an accepted financial reporting framework of law and standards. This means that they are understandable and useful to users. They are required to be materially free of error or bias and, to allow comparison with others, or over time, they must disclose any significant changes or choices of accounting policies. Reliability may be enhanced if the accounts are audited, or if an independent accountant is associated with them in other ways.
Where financial information is needed quickly, management accounts may be appropriate. These are for the specific purpose of analysing business performance, but they may also inform providers of finance. The reliability of management accounts may be enhanced if they are associated with an independent accountant, if they are validated by analytics, or, for companies, if they are reconciled to annual statutory accounts.
Small business systems of financial reporting are more likely to produce relevant and reliable financial information if:
- Management communicates sound ethical values within the business and exercises sufficient oversight of activities.
- Sufficient competent human and other resources are used.
- The systems are designed to achieve the business's specific financial reporting objectives.
- Risks of not meeting objectives are identified and mitigated by suitable policies and procedures.
- The performance of systems is monitored and corrected or improved as necessary.
Information from providers of finance about process and decision making is appropriate if it:
- Explains what finance may be sought and on what terms.
- Identifies factors that determine credit ratings or lending decisions.
- Sets out the general processes and timetable.
- Refers to appropriate regulations/industry codes where these are followed.
- Communicates, in respect of an application or facility, the specific processes and timetable applied and the reasons for decisions.
Doing Business Together Events
If anyone is interested in arranging similar events to the ones described below, contact email@example.com
25/02/11 – Grass Roots Forum with Macclesfield Chamber of Commerce
This was the second Grass Roots Forum and took place at Mere Golf Resort, Knutsford in conjunction with Macclesfield Chamber of Commerce.
It was attended by Rt Hon. George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer. George Osborne, who is MP for Tatton, was joined by David Rutley, MP for Macclesfield.
It was a unique chance for SMEs to discuss and debate their credit and finance issues with the Chancellor and representatives of the major credit and finance organisations that are involved in Doing Business Together.
Click here to view the Chamberlink article discussing Chancellor, Phil Orford, Stephen Pegge, Mike Still and Chris Poll addressing Doing Business Together Knutsford.
03/12/10 – Grass Roots Forum with Richmond Chamber of Commerce
This was the first Grass Roots Forum and took place at The Lensbury Conference Centre, Teddington in conjunction with Richmond Chamber of Commerce.
The event allowed 85 Richmond based SMEs to discuss their finance and credit problems with over 50 representatives of the leading credit, finance and accountancy organisations that are involved in Doing Business Together.
The event was attended by Rt Hon. Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade. Vince Cable, who is MP for Twickenham, was joined by Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park.
Doing Business Together - additional support and quotes
Government, major finance associations and public information companies:
Vince Cable – Business Secretary
"Small businesses will be crucial to driving economic growth but they can only do that if they can access finance when looking to expand. These are difficult times for our small companies in accessing finance so it is important that they know the most effective methods of applying and understand the range of options available. Doing Business Together is a fine initiative for getting business and finance institutions on the same page. There is too much misunderstanding and even mistrust between banks and their clients, which creates a barrier holding back firms, banks and the wider economy. The Operating Principles of Doing Business Together describe how this barrier can be broken down by taking a few clear, commonsense steps. I will be watching its progress with interest."
Mark Prisk MP - Minister of State for Business and Enterprise
"It's great to see the banking industry, business bodies and accountants coming together to support our businesses to develop their financial management capabilities. As outlined in our recent Green Paper, Financing a Private Sector Recovery, greater trust between banks and businesses is needed to improve the lending environment. Private sector-led initiatives such as this one are a welcome step in the right direction."
British Banker's Association - Business Finance Taskforce report
"We have started a programme of work - Doing Business Together - to recommend good practice, working with the wider credit industry and business groups, including the Confederation of British Industry, the Forum of Private Business and accountancy bodies. The objective is to improve financial management capability and presentation and use of financial information. Working together, we aim to help businesses enhance their access to finance, their credit ratings and terms. We recommend that this work is extended and the Taskforce banks will engage - through the BBA - to launch a broader initiative in early 2011."
Kate Sharp - Chief Executive Officer of the Asset Backed Finance Association (ABFA)
"The aims of the Doing Business Together group have never been more appropriate. The past two years of restricted credit is forcing businesses to a higher plain when it comes to financial awareness. Whether the aim is to borrow money or simply maintain their own credit rating, businesses need to be smarter and better prepared than before. When a commodity as essential as credit becomes scarce it will be those companies that are financially astute, both in terms of their own business performance and in terms of the types of finance available to them, that will succeed."
Malcolm Hurlston - Chairman of Registry Trust Ltd
"Increasing the accuracy of credit information in the public interest lies at the heart of Registry Trust Ltd's mission. Doing Business Together can achieve widespread understanding of the credit world by raising the awareness of best practice in the SME sector. We are pleased to offer our experience and support DBT's Operating Principles."
DBT's Operating Principles Panel, which includes key UK finance and credit industry representatives:
Stephen Pegge - Head of External Affairs for Lloyds Banking Group Commercial (in his position as Chairman of the British Bankers' Association Small Firms Advisory Panel)
"Banks, business groups, accountancy bodies and other parts of the credit industry have worked closely together in the interests of SMEs to encourage and enable better access to and use of financial management tools that can improve business performance and ability to access credit on the most competitive terms. As recovery takes place, it is critical that SMEs are financially well managed and they can present the right information for lenders and other business support professionals. It is also vital that banks will do all they can to support this, as committed within the report of the Business Finance Taskforce."
Andrew Leck - Head of ACCA UK
"For more than a hundred years, ACCA has championed the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which either employ or use the advice of more than half of our membership. This has always meant working to improve SMEs' ability to access finance, and we have worked to raise awareness of their diverse funding needs, point out market imperfections and advocate changes in business practice or government policy where necessary. We are pleased that the cross profession Doing Business Together group has established clear principles that will help improve the delivery of financial information and ultimately improve the finance options for SMEs. The priority now should be to demonstrate to SMEs the importance of financial information when seeking finance and for us all to take a more proactive approach to ensuring the access to finance door remains open."
Philip King - Director General of the Institute of Credit Management
"Supply chain finance is a major contributor to SME liquidity. Credit professionals rely on up-to-date monthly management information either directly from SMEs or indirectly through credit rating agency reviews in order to support trade credit insurance. The ICM has taken a leading role in establishing Doing Business Together's Operating Principles. The next priority has to be ensuring these principles are understood by all parties - be they the producers, the users, or the subject of accounting information - from the grassroots upwards."
Phil Orford - Chief Executive of the Forum of Private Business
"The credit crisis has necessitated that SMEs always be on top of their own financials, especially managing cash flow and debtors more closely. If we are to see private businesses driving a private sector recovery, there is an even greater need for business owners to provide their suppliers, creditors, banks and credit rating agencies with accurate and up to date management information. Without this discipline, businesses will simply not be able to access finance on the best terms to fund their growth. As a founding member of Doing Business Together I have helped devise the Operating Principles that are the first part in a longer education and awareness programme on how the business world now operates."
Xavier Denecker - Managing Director of Coface UK and Ireland
"Besides audited accounts, management accounts may increase trade credit insurers' trust. When risk underwriters are provided with clear information on where a company is heading, they are more likely to be confident in the capacity of its management to weather bad times and take advantage of favourable market winds."
Simon Streat - Managing Director of SME Experian UK & Ireland
"In a climate where a healthy credit score is more critical than ever before, it is essential for any business to understand its credit status and take steps to positively influence it. Many businesses do not appreciate the importance of knowing their own commercial credit score or the influence they can have on it. Sharing monthly management information could play a key role in ensuring SMEs are in the best possible position when it comes to securing credit, business loans, tenders or business services. We have already been working towards creating awareness among SMEs with our Credit Review Service, and we support the launch of the 'Doing Business Together' group's Operating Principles."
Individual Banks & Invoice Financiers
Noel Quinn - Head of Corporate and Commercial Banking for HSBC
"HSBC is fully supportive of the development of practical solutions for SMEs to help them manage and grow their business as well as giving them better access to appropriate and affordable finance."
Steve Cooper - Managing Director of Barclays Business
"These principles represent good practice for business and we endorse and support the goals they represent. The overall objective is to improve financial management capability and presentation and use of financial information, something that can only be achieved on a universal scale by working together with major industry groups. In part, this reflects Barclays efforts to provide our customers with the kind of financial tools they will need to enhance their access to finance, their credit ratings and terms."
Peter Ibbetson - Chairman, small business, NatWest and RBS
"Making life easier for businesses is at the heart of our 'Helpful Banking' ethos and the initiatives within our SME charter. The Doing Business Together work is absolutely in line with this, and we are pleased to support both its objectives and its proposals and wish the initiative every success."
Steve Pateman - Head of Corporate and Commercial Banking for Santander UK
"Santander's approach to SMEs is founded on building genuine long-term relationships where we listen and understand what financial support businesses need and give them the right solutions at the right time. Underpinning this is a need for honest dialogue between the bank and its customers and a fundamental part of this is the provision of timely and relevant financial information. All our relationship teams are focused on working with SMEs to help them understand what is needed, how to prepare it and why it's so important. We're happy to support Doing Business Together, which we see as a positive initiative for a vital sector of the UK economy."
Simon Featherstone - Managing Director of LloydsTSB Commercial Finance
"Today only a relatively small percentage of businesses use Invoice Financing yet as a source of liquidity it is increasingly applicable to their needs. We support Doing Business Together Operating Principles in better informing SMEs how to source finance and credit best suited to their needs and on the appropriate terms."
Craig Donaldson - Chief Executive Officer of Metro Bank
"Metro Bank PLC fully endorses the business principles of Doing Business Together. Our organisation is built upon the business we receive from SME customers and the service we give them so it is vital that the lines of communication are clear between us. Timely and relevant financial information will always be a core principle and can only enhance our service and increase our fans."
Ray Lowrey - Deputy Risk Director of Bibby Group Factors Ltd.
"Throughout the credit crunch and recession we have been supportive of the needs of SME's, continuing to provide access to funding to business in significant numbers. The DBT aims of promoting better quality financial information on a timely, regular basis can only help make it easier for lenders and other stakeholders to understand clearly how a business is performing in achieving its financial aims and so aiding more informed decision making."
Guy Williamson - Head of Corporate Affairs for Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank
"Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank are supportive of the Doing Business Together principles. As an organisation we strongly believe in a partnership approach with our SME customers and the majority of the proposals are long-established best practice for our business."
Stephen Alambritis - Head of Public Affairs for Federation of Small Businesses:
"We welcome banks, invoice financiers, credit rating agencies, trade credit insurers and supply chain managers collaborating through Doing Business Together in agreeing on a common message and taking steps to explain to SMEs at the local grass roots level precisely what is required. Then our members are more likely to receive the liquidity that is so urgently needed on the best possible terms. At the same time, small businesses now have an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate that they merit access to finance needed to keep them on track for growth."
Anne Newton - Chief Executive of Richmond Borough Chamber of Commerce
"SME members of the Richmond Borough Chamber of Commerce in a business survey earlier this year - and again at the SME Forum Launch earlier this month with Vince Cable, Business Secretary - identified funding and credit availability as key to their survival and prosperity. It is important that SMEs have cost-effective and time-efficient methods to access funding so that busy business owners' and finance controllers' can afford more time to strategically plan and run their business. It is vital that businesses are supported by their accountants in preparing up-to-date management information at affordable fees. Only then will they be able to strengthen their financial relationship with customers, suppliers, credit rating agencies, trade credit insurers so as to obtain the finance and credit they require on the best possible terms."
John Lamond - CEO of Macclesfield Chamber of Commerce
"The Doing Business Together forum presents SMEs with a unique opportunity to meet with key representatives from financial and other institutions, to gain essential knowledge on finance and credit issues, and to acquire the practical means to apply this knowledge to significantly improve business performance."
Accounting Bodies, Accountants and Accounting Software Providers
David Woodgate - CEO of Institute of Financial Accountants
"The Institute of Financial Accountants recognises providers of finance and credit require cost-effective and timely supply of accurate monthly financial information from accountants and SMEs. We therefore fully support the role and operating principles of Doing Business Together and are committed to working with all supporters, our members and their clients to help them identify and prepare cost effective monthly financial information that meets the requirements of banks, asset based lenders and credit rating agencies."
Guy Rigby - Director, Head of Entrepreneurs, Tax and Business services for Smith & Williamson
"As an accounting firm working with entrepreneurs and growth businesses, Smith & Williamson supports Doing Business Together's initiative to encourage SMEs to supply regular financial information not just to banks and invoice financiers but also to credit rating agencies, trade credit insurers and supply chain managers. In order to do this they must first ensure that their own businesses prepare and review regular management accounts."
Gavin May - Business Development Director for Sage UK
"With 800,000 customers in the UK, many of which use our accounting software, we know that this is an issue of vital importance. More than ever in these current times, businesses must be pro-active about their credit profile - ensuring financial reporting is not just accurate, but timely and presented in a format that enables lending organisations to make speedy and informed decisions. We wholeheartedly support the DBT initiative."
Mark Halstead - Operations Director for Begbies Traynor's Red Flag Alert:
"Businesses either as suppliers or customers need a better understanding of Risk and need to be open and transparent in the marketplace. DBT and the ethos of sharing monthly management accounts will encourage transparency in business, which will enable the finance and insurance community to widen their support of the UK's entrepreneurs and SME businesses. UK plc needs these very businesses to lead us out of recession."
Richard Brooks - CEO of FD Solutions
"As a CEO of a small business and as a provider of finance director services to SMEs I understand only too well the importance for SMEs to prepare monthly management accounts. I believe that the Doing Business Together group has made and will continue to make an enormous contribution to improving this understanding between SMEs and their credit providers. We are in this together. The improved communications enable all parties to understand what is expected. It is essential for UK PLC for these markets to work efficiently and effectively."
Bryan Richter – UK Managing Director for Mamut
"As an organisation focussed on the needs of SMEs, Mamut believes that the Doing Business Together initiative gets to the heart of one of the biggest challenges facing SMEs in the UK today. This is good news for the credit and finance industry, good news for UK SMEs and good news for the UK economy as a whole."
Trade Credit Insurance Sector
Tim Smith - Head of Marsh's UK Trade Credit Practice
"Large companies seeking trade credit insurance on their supply chain rely on their small-to-medium sized entreprise business partners having a clear understanding that cover is assessed on their financial viability - even though they are not the policyholder. It is therefore essential that every UK business be able to provide up-to-date management information to credit insurers, or the credit rating agencies on which they often rely. This is why Marsh is pleased to support Doing Business Together".
Marc Henstridge - Head of Risk for Atradius UK and Ireland
"Perhaps the most positive outcome of the downturn is that the businesses who have survived are those demonstrating the greatest levels of transparency. Whilst this has meant a big step outside the comfort zone for many, we'd like to encourage more and more businesses to follow suit. This is what will make a difference - and any initiative which helps businesses to share their most up-to-date information on a regular basis with trading partners, trade credit insurers, prospects and other external parties is to be welcomed. For it is transparency, ultimately, that will get our economy back on track."
Neil Ross - Senior Vice President Trade Credit, Chartis Insurance UK Limited
"The old adage 'Credit, where credit is due' is just as important today, but with speed of economic change, has become increasingly difficult to determine. Increased accountability is key to strengthen financial relationships, which necessitates SMEs providing up-to-date information on a regular basis. Technology will play a vital role in this, providing greater transparency and restoring confidence of trade suppliers to SMEs."
Fabrice Desnos - Chief Executive Officer Euler Hermes UK Plc
"In what continues to be a challenging economic environment for UK SMEs, the value of sharing accurate management accounts should not be underestimated. SMEs are vital to securing economic recovery, but for this to be achieved, trust and transparency is imperative. Up to date financial information is essential to us as the most recent information ensures financial institutions make the right decisions based on the current trading performance of a business. A positive review by a credit insurer can enhance the business relationship a customer has with its supplier, which in turn can result in more goods being provided on better credit terms or for additional discounts. It is therefore in everyone's interest for credit limits to be maintained or increased, and by sharing financial information; we believe this will have a positive impact on trade. Euler Hermes has long been campaigning for companies to adopt a more positive approach in their engagement with credit insurers and any initiative to promote the importance of sharing up to date information is to be welcomed."
Energy Suppliers, SMEs and other interest parties
Mike Hogg - General Manager of Shell Gas Direct
"Shell supports this initiative towards the improvement of data flow accuracy and understanding around the credit challenge."
Richard Gilkes - Managing Director Stort Chemicals Ltd.
"As an SME importing chemicals from Western Europe, the dramatic restrictions in trade credit insurance over the last 2 years has been a key factor for our business. We have been fortunate in finding a way to pro-actively manage our credit rating by submitting verified monthly accounts but there are still massive communication gaps between SMEs and the wider credit community. There is a lot of work still to be done and I hope the Doing Business Together Group can prove to be a positive step in the right direction."
Barry Edwards - Txtreme Solutions
"Bringing together professional specialist expertise to assist small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to co-ordinate funding and the provision of advice is long overdue. Doing Business Together will transform the approach people have concerning these businesses and enable professional investors to reappraise this very important part of the economy. Referred to as ‘the backbone of the economy’ in most countries, the SME sector in the United Kingdom has been struggling to gain the attention of the City mainly because the financial information available has been either totally lacking or of poor quality. Doing Business Together will make available the key financial information on line, at all times, providing a continuous reference point to follow the progress of the companies that participate in this new facility. Together with expert advice, management support and co-ordinated funding the SME sector will have on hand the backing it really deserves to make a real difference to the UK economy. "
Alex MacPherson - VC at Octopus Ventures
"Entrepreneurship is the life blood of the UK economy, especially as we strive to establish economic growth after the recession of the last 18 months. The Doing Business Together group links the financial community with these entrepreneurs to facilitate access to the most appropriate source of capital. The provision of up to date accurate information needs to be at the heart of this process."
Samir Desai - Co-Founder and Director
"Funding Circle wholeheartedly supports the initiative ‘Doing Business Together’. Easy access to up to date monthly accounts will undoubtedly help small businesses access cost effective finance. It would make it easier for small businesses to borrow through Funding Circle’s marketplace and help drive the growth the UK needs to help us step out of recession."
Gareth Jones, Managing Director UK and Ireland of Dunn & Bradstreet, and Martin Williams, Managing Director of Graydon UK, also support the Doing Business Together group.
Cable backs monthly accounts to boost loans
"Vince Cable, the business secreatry, has lent his backing to a campaign that promotes monthly accounting by small businesses. Doing Business Together, whose participants include the British Bankers' Association and the Federation of Small Businesses, aims to increase lending by countering distrust between banks and borrowers."
For more information, read the full Financial Times article about Doing Business Together (Financial Times subscription required).
City takes on placatory role with small businesses
"More than 100 'brave' businesses from south-west London will sit down with the directors from 22 large banks, insurers, credit reference agencies and accountancy firms this week to work out why they are not getting along. The initiative, called Doing Business Together (DBT), led by the CBI and endorsed by Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, is expected to roll out nationally as part of the City's attempts to restore working relations with small and medium-sized companies."
For more information, read the full Daily Telegraph article about Doing Business Together's first 'Grass Roots' Forum.
Business owners greet banks with silence at lending summit
"Last Friday, Chancellor George Osborne, 68 directors of high street banks, insurers, credit rating agencies and accountants joined 164 business owners in the town, which sits 12 miles south-west of Manchester, faced with bridging the forbidding divide that has emerged between lenders and small companies."
For more information, read the full Daily Telegraph article about Doing Business Together's second 'Grass Roots' Forum.
Mail on Sunday
Lets do business together say firms
"The second meeting of the Doing Business Together project, a new initiative aimed at boosting firms access to finance by improving the relationships between banks and small businesses through a set of operating principles, was held last week in Tatton, Cheshire. The meeting, which was addressed by Chancellor George Osborne, was attended by more than 200 small business owners, who had the opportunity to put their concerns directly to the Chancellor, as well as to bank representatives, credit rating agencies, trade credit insurers and brokers."
For more information, read the full Mail on Sunday article about Doing Business Together.
Richmond and Twickenham Times - Talking Business
Trailblazing forum starts
"Business Secretary Vince Cable was guest of honour at the first general meeting of Doing Business Together (DBT), a new forum to improve relationships between national organisations and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The forums, which it is hoped will spring up nationwide after the Richmond pilot, have been formed to tell businesses what they must do to obtain the best terms and conditions for finance and credit deals."
For more information, read the full Richmond and Twickenham Times article about Doing Business Together's first 'Grass Roots' Forum.
Working to help you succeed
Richmond Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, Anne Newton: "We led a combined bid with Macclesfield and Wandsworth chambers of commerce. All three chambers met last Thursday and by the weekend the bid was successfully submitted; quite an achievement. Our aim is to deliver a mentoring blueprint to help SMEs, which can be rolled out around the UK and we have cross-party blessing in all three boroughs. The mentoring programme will firstly help deliver a faster funding route to our SMEs, so that they can expand more rapidly and as a consequence deliver jobs and prosperity on the ground."
For more information, read the full Richmond and Twickenham Times article about Doing Business Together's SME mentoring programme.
Taking the message to the top
"Richmond Chamber of Commerce and Doing Business Together (DBT) will take the business message to the Chancellor of the Exchequer today. Working with Wandsworth and Macclesfield chambers of commerce, representatives from both organisations will lead discussions with banks and ministers on how businesses can best secure money from banks to expand out of recession."
For more information, read the full Richmond and Twickenham Times article about Doing Business Together's second 'Grass Roots' Forum.
BSI - National Standards Body of the UK
As a result of the second 'Grass Roots' Forum in Knutsford, BSI - the National Standards Body, has engaged with Doing Business Together in order to produce "a suite of standards for the financial services and SME sectors".
According to a letter from BSI's Chairman, Sir David John, to Chancellor George Osborne, the aim of this work is "to enable banks, rating agencies and insurers to deal more effectively and efficiently with [SMEs] against a known and quantifiable standard".
For further information, read the full letter from BSI Chairman Sir David John to Chancellor George Osborne.
Mentoring - SME Financing and Business Development
The momentum of Doing Business Together's partnerships with local Chambers of Commerce has now led to the creation of a mentoring progamme for SMEs trying to access credit and finance, which will be lead by Richmond, Macclesfield and Wandsworth Chambers of Commerce. All three Chambers have now applied for a Regional Growth Fund that will help to spread this across the country.
According to the group's application for funding, "The aim is to develop a credible, scalable accredited mentoring programme blueprint, which can be rolled-out across the UK from the 3 hubs of Richmond, Wandsworth and Macclesfield. The Chambers have been encouraged by BIS, Doing Business Together, our local MP’s including George Osborne, Vince Cable and Zac Goldsmith and our Councils to launch this initiative, which would otherwise not exist. The DBT principles will be fundamental to the mentoring blueprint."
For further information, read the full application to the Regional Growth Fund.
For further information about membership of Doing Business Together and how the group operates, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0844 375 9022.
If you're an SME with a specific enquiry for the group, please fill in the form below.
As Doing Business Together is a relatively new creation we are expecting other organisations to join the list of 35 active supporters. All supporters have a common desire to ensure that the SME sector in which they operate is as financially healthy and vibrant as possible.
This website will provide the latest updates and information on DBT's local grass roots forums, the first of which takes place on Friday 3rd December, in conjunction with Richmond Chamber of Commerce.
These forums are fully supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), with members of both organisations expected to attend alongside other members of the DBT Subgroup Panel (listed below). The forums are designed to help SMEs obtain the finance and credit needed to run their businesses and are endorsed by major banks (Lloyds, RBS, Barclays, HSBC and Santander), SME credit rating agencies (Dunn & Bradstreet, Experian and Graydon), credit insurers (Euler Hermes, Coface, Atradius and Chartis) and trade credit insurance brokers (Marsh and RK Harrison).
Members of Doing Business Together's Subgroup Panel include:
Professor Russel Griggs - Chairman of Doing Business Together and CBI SME Committee
David York - Chair of Doing Business Together's Operating Principles Committee and Head of Auditing Practice ACCA
Simon Streat - Managing Director of UK & Ireland SME Division for Experian Plc.
Philip King - Director General, Institute of Credit Management
Phil Orford - Chief Executive, Forum of Private Business
Stephen Pegge - Chairman of British Bankers' Association Small Firms Advisory Panel and Head of External Affairs, Lloyds Banking Group Commercial
Ian Watts - Vice President of Marsh Trade Credit Practice
Christopher Poll - Founder of Doing Business Together and Chairman and CEO Future Route/CreditPal