THE founder of a world-leading county business has joined a national small business organisation.

Andrew Bissell, chief executive and founder of heat battery manufacturer Sunamp, has joined 18 other business experts as a member of the new Small Business Council.

The inaugural meeting took place at 10 Downing Street last Thursday.

Mr Bissell was among those in attendance and welcomed the invitation to be part of the group.

He said: “SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] come in lots of shapes and sizes, and it was great to see so many women and such ethnic diversity at our first meeting.

“One area for discussion will be the low level of funding that goes to women-led businesses.

“As innovators, we have to work very hard to create understanding of our technology, and to overcome regulatory and policy barriers to unlock our full growth potential.”

Sunamp, which is based in Macmerry Industrial Estate, was founded in 2005.

The business says its “mission is to transform how we generate, store and use heat to make a significant global impact on tackling climate change and safeguarding our planet for future generations”.

'Significant difficulties'

Mr Bissell said: “The UK has an opportunity to drive global regulatory harmonisation initiatives and I believe innovative products in areas of global impact, like net zero, need a fast-track approval programme.

“Private monopolies controlling regulation on behalf of Government is causing significant difficulties for innovation to come through and there should be competition in the regulatory space if the private sector is to lead on it.”

The Small Business Council brings together UK firms from a wide range of sectors, including food and drink, manufacturing, beauty and climate tech.

It includes small business organisations such as Small Business Britain, the Federation of Small Businesses and Family Business UK, as well as SMEs themselves.

Chaired by Kevin Hollinrake MP, the Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, the group will work alongside the Prime Minister’s Business Council to tackle key issues facing small firms.

It will be a voice for small businesses within Government and has been tasked with overseeing three key areas for small firms: access to finance; skills and support; and removing barriers to growth.

Mr Hollinrake said: “Small firms are at the heart of our communities and the engine of our economy – which is why the work of this council is so important.

“My own experience of working in a small business has given me crucial insights to the problems that SMEs face on a daily basis, from barriers to growth or access to finance.

“We’re giving small firms a big voice, so they can directly air their concerns to Government without delay – only when we work together can we tackle some of the burning issues SMEs are facing; only then can we help boost jobs and grow the economy.”