One of David Cameron’s former technology advisers has said that in order for start-ups and SMEs to gain influence in government and to win more of the lucrative contracts available a trade union should be established to represent them in Whitehall.
Rohan Silva also said that the hold that big suppliers have over government contracts is “immoral”, according to the Evening Standard.
Speaking at a 3 Beards Tech City event in Old Street last night, Silva said: “Politicians do care about start-ups but they’re dispersed everywhere, how do you find them? They don’t have lobbying people, they don’t have public affairs people, they’re not in and out of Whitehall the whole time.
“Small businesses are generally massively failed by the representative groups that are supposed to stand for them. There should be a trade union for entrepreneurs and the voice of entrepreneurs is much diminished as a result [of there not being one].”
Silva has since left working for Number 10 to join a venture capital firm, Index Ventures, focused on investing in small businesses and also has plans to start a company of his own.
His comments come at a time when the government is working hard to open up access to SMEs. It is doing this by both ensuring that the ‘oligopoly of suppliers’ work with SMEs as part of their supply chain when signing government contract and by enlisting smaller companies to innovative new frameworks, such as the G-Cloud and the Digital Services Framework.
Its changes to procurement have begun to ruffle the feathers of some of the more traditional suppliers, with the likes of CGI claiming that the government needs to be careful or big companies will take their investment outside the UK.