With the world facing a new financial meltdown, Vince Cable is calling upon entrepreneurs to fight for the UK economy. The crisis will affect businesses across the globe in all industries. Cable doesn't mince his words: "What we're looking at is the economic equivalent of war and entrepreneurs are what we'll fight with. They are the foot soldiers."
His stern words come just as David Cameron warns, "External risks to the stability of our banks and our economies are reaching pre-crises levels," and World Bank chief Robert Zoellick says, "the world economy is in a danger zone."
The current financial climate has left the investment world in flux. Money is hard to come by. While many firms can bootstrap their way to profitability, in some industries - cutting edge tech, for example - a wedge of cash is necessary to get off the ground. With this in mind Cable concedes, "Banks should and can do more to help small businesses. We're trying to get them to jack up their lending. We're not going to get out of this crisis without small and medium sized businesses."
Cable knows that funding is the elephant in the room for many businesses, saying, "The problem is many of them aren't able to get the capital they require, even though they're perfectly viable for it."
However, the Minister encourages small business owners to stay calm. "We're not sitting around doing nothing," he says. "Exports and the entrepreneurial culture are what will drive the recovery. All we can do in government is make life easier for entrepreneurs."
He continues, "We're a tax friendly regime and are trying to get rid of as much unnecessary regulation as we can. We're also helping with training and the development of technologies."
Despite the funding gap, Cable believes that now is the perfect climate to start a business: "It's actually the bad periods that are the best time to start your own company," he advises. "It's less congested, assets are reasonably cheap and people are willing to work."
One industry that Cable gives as an example of British sector bucking the trend and fighting back is manufacturing. "The whole of the manufacturing sector is recording 10% growth," he says. "We're getting rid of that nonsense about Britain not being able to make things. Our production line is high-tech, modern and booming."