On 25 November 2020, Mishcon the Leap co-hosted, alongside The Entrepreneurs Network and The APPG for Entrepreneurship, a virtual drinks event for a number of founders and entrepreneurs of fast-growth green businesses, with key note speakers Dr Alan Whitehead MP, Shadow Minister for Energy and the Green New Deal, and Alexander Rhodes, Head of Mishcon Purpose. The event was attended by a number of green entrepreneurs from a variety of businesses, ranging from a company producing a vegan alternative to eggs, to a company designing a polluter pays platform and many more.
Alexander Rhodes began the evening by introducing Mishcon Purpose, the Firm's sustainability practice and providing his view on the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, announced by the Government last week. Subsequently, Dr Alan Whitehead went on to discuss the main question that had been posed for the evening – how to make the UK the best place for green business and green entrepreneurs. Dr Whitehead discussed the importance of the UK's statutory commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2050. He said how this shift had brought previous discussions about green business into sharp focus and, as a result, we were starting to see the development of practical policies (such as those outlined in the Ten Point Plan) to achieve the 2050 net-zero target. Dr Whitehead concluded by saying that there was genuine Governmental shift in favour of green businesses and that there was no better time to be a green entrepreneur.
The evening then opened up to questions, in response to which Dr Whitehead discussed his views on the gaps in the Ten Point Plan, how to align the various Government departments in their support for green businesses, the impact of the upcoming Environmental Bill and the implications of using taxation as an incentive to drive green businesses.
There was one clear theme that emerged from the Q&A session – that at the moment there seems to be a dislocation between the Government's stated policy aims and what green entrepreneurs are actually seeing on the ground. There was a feeling in the (virtual) room that a green business revolution is required if the Government is to meet its environmental commitments and, at the moment, this is being led on the ground by green entrepreneurs without much meaningful, practical facilitation from Government. However, there was hope that this might move up the Government's agenda (especially as the UK is hosting COP26 in November next year) and so there was very much a feeling of 'watch this space'.
A huge thank you to The Entrepreneurs Network for co-hosting the event, to Dr Alan Whitehead for providing such interesting insight into Government policy and green business generally, and to the entrepreneurs who attended for sharing stories of their own experiences and asking stimulating, and sometimes tough, questions.
Mishcon The Leap is an active network and programme of events for some of the most exciting fast-growth businesses in the UK. The Leap brings together business founders and leaders through a series of events, workshops and content, creating a community of like-minded individuals who can learn from each other and share their experiences and ideas on how to shape the future of their industry and society.
A Leap partner since launch in 2015, The Entrepreneurs Network is a think tank for the ambitious owners of Britain’s fastest growing businesses and aspirational entrepreneurs. Through research, events and the media, it bridges the gap between entrepreneurs and policymakers to help make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business. They are also the Secretariat of the APPG for Entrepreneurship, set up to ensure that Parliament is kept up-to-date on what is needed to create and sustain the most favourable conditions for entrepreneurship.