Our Mission

SMEs for Labour seeks to strengthen relations between the small, medium, micro, owner and family run businesses with the Labour Party

We support constructive and informed discussion within the Labour movement on issues impacting on SMEs

We work closely with trade unions, employers’ groups and individuals, encouraging strong partnerships and collaboration

We organise meetings for Labour Parliamentarians and others, so that a greater understanding of the challenges faced by SMEs can be gained

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News & Updates

Standing Order Mandate

If you would like to set up a standing order please click the link below to fill in the form and email us at info@sme4labour.org  SME4Labour Membership Application Form and Standing Order Mandate Read more

First Annual SME4Labour Gala and Labour Excellence Awards

SME4Labour was delighted to host its first annual gala on Monday 19 December. SME4Labour is a friends group of the Labour Party that works to strengthen the relationship between the party and small businesses, which are the backbone of the British economy and local communities. The event was attended by... Read more

The next generation of enterpreneurs

Stephen Timms hosted a roundtable discussion on how the Labour Party can create and win the support of the next generation of entrepreneurs.The event was chaired by Martin Howe of the Executive Committee for SME 4 Labour with keynote speakers Stephen Timms MP for East Ham and Bill Esterson MP for... Read more

Meeting between Emily Thornberry and SME owners

  SME4labour organised a meeting in Islington between SME owners and Emily Thornberry MP. There were SME owners from various backgrounds who raised their concerns and other issues while also advocating for the Labour Party to become the natural home of small businesses, and that it should do more to... Read more

Sadiq Khan Fundraiser

  The most recent event held by SME 4 Labour was a fundraising dinner in support of Sadiq Khan, Labour candidate for London Mayor. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in a raffle and auction which included some excellent prizes. The Mayoral elections could not have come at a more... Read more

Networking reception in Parliament

  November 2015 saw the first networking reception for SME 4 Labour which led to the widely anticipated official launch in Parliament the following January. Hosted by Bill Esterson MP (and Shadow Minister for small businesses), the event was well attended by 50 MPs and Councillors. with the queue reaching... Read more

Book launch with Peter Hain: "Back to the future of socialism"

  SME 4 Labour along with Stephen Kinnock MP held a discussion with Rt Hon Lord Hain about life in British politics and the success of Lord Hain’s book Back to the Future of Socialism.  The book highlights what the future holds for the Labour Party and its members – putting... Read more

Yvette Cooper Rally September 2015

September 2015 saw the start of SME 4 Labour with the organisation’s hosting Yvette Cooper’s final phase of her Labour leadership campaign. MPs, volunteers and business owning  non-party members gathered in North London for a fundraising dinner to show their support. The fundraising dinner enabled Yvette to speak out on... Read more

Supporting a fundraising dinner with Carwyn Jones

SME4Labour has actively engaged with CLP’s and groups supporting the Labour cause throughout the year. As part of our work to support our friends from across the country, we have supported a fundraising dinner with Carwyn Jones. Tim Roache of GMB and many other colleagues were also present at the... Read more

Angela Eagle MP

“The dynamism of small and medium sized businesses is critical to the success of the UK economy. Representing over 99% of UK businesses, they provide 60% of private sector jobs and account for almost 50% of all private sector turnover.  “I would like to congratulate SME 4 Labour on the... Read more

Bill Esterson MP

"There are 5 million businesses who employ fewer than 10 people in this country. these are the backbone of our country and at the heart of our economy and community and we want them them to do well. The work of SME 4 Labour means that these small business owners... Read more

Chi Onwurah MP

“SMEs are vital to our economy, making up 99.2% of all private sector businesses in the U.K. and employing 14.4 million people. With such a large portion of the population being connected to SMEs, it is essential that the needs of SMEs are met in Parliament.“The Labour party has long... Read more

Chuka Umunna MP

“The UK’s small business are the backbone of the economy and the beating heart of our communities. SME 4 Labour provides a vital forum through which Labour can work in partnership with SMEs, trade unions and workers to build effective policy and stronger relationships with the business community.”Chuka Umunna is the... Read more

Dan Jarvis MP

“99% of the businesses in our country are small and medium-sized enterprises. Our economy depends on the success of these businesses. It is incredibly important that Labour, the party of work, has a strong relationship with small business and the work of SME 4 Labour is vital to foster and... Read more

Rt Hon Diane Abbott MP

“Small and Medium Enterprises are critically important for the strength and development of the British economy, and I am delighted to give my support to SME 4 Labour as a crucial bridge between business communities and the Labour Party. SMEs provide a great deal of employment and are at the... Read more

Geraint Davies MP

“It is essential that the Labour Party is a strong voice for SMEs across Britain as they contribute to the essential foundation on which our economic success relies. Over 14 million people working day in day out in our SMEs to keep Britain on track on a road towards prosperity.At... Read more

Iain McNicol

“Small and medium-sized enterprises play a vital role in our economy. As Labour set’s out our policy platform ahead of the next election we will make sure small and medium-sized enterprises, micro businesses, start-ups and the self-employed are at the heart of our economy and business policies."SMEs represent enterprise, innovation... Read more

Rt Hon John McDonnell

“SME 4 Labour provides the Labour Party with a direct link to many small and medium enterprises, helping us to develop the policies needed to support this key sector of our economy. Thanks to the work of SME 4 Labour our party has a full appreciation of the immense contribution... Read more

Jon Cruddas MP

“I am incredibly impressed with the work of SME 4 labour. Its objective is to strengthen relations between small and  medium enterprises and self-employed businesses and the Labour Party. It is vital work in the task at hand to rebuild labour and I very much look forward to working with... Read more

Jonathan Ashworth MP

“Small and Medium Enterprises are the lifeblood of the British economy. In my own constituency of Leicester South, and across the country, they are the corner shops that we rely on, and the start-ups that drive us forward. The work that SME 4 Labour does is vital."It’s only by reaching... Read more

Jonathan Reynolds MP

SMEs represent the entrepreneurial spirit of Britain at its best, making a vital contribution to the UK. As Britain looks to a future outside of the European Union, the role of our home-grown businesses will become ever more important in supporting long-term prospects for growth, job creation and innovation in... Read more

Lord Harrison

“Labour is now the Party championing small businesses. The Tories have neglected the problems of small firms, like sources of funding, over-regulation and late payment on commercial debt. It is time for Labour to take over and give hope to struggling small businesses!”Lord Harrison was made a life peer in... Read more

Lord Kinnock

“SMEs are obviously vital to the wellbeing of the economy and the communities which they serve. With post-Brexit uncertainty and the pressures that currency instability impose, it is more essential than ever for SME4Labour to be active in efforts to ensure that its Labour supporters inside and outside  Parliament and... Read more

Lord Robertson of Port Ellen

“Having made the transition from political high office to the commercial sector, and now serving on the Boards of small and medium sized companies, I can vouch for their importance and their essential role in the UK economy. No political party can ignore the health and prosperity of this crucial... Read more

Lord Triesman

“No government with a modern economy can avoid forming a deep strategic understanding of SMEs. In part it is because they often create the innovations and employment opportunities on which we depend, in part as indispensable links in the supply chains of top tier production. So we had best give... Read more

Martin Howe

“In the brave new world where we face a  soft or hard Brexit, where the US President elect is unpredictable and where future trading markets are unclear, there is a critical need for SMEs to have a strong voice in the thinking and policies of the Labour Party. Businesses are... Read more

Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP

“The formation of this group within the Labour Party is a very important step and I look forward to working with you. SME 4 Labour is an important way in which we can ensure good employment practices and growth in the small and medium business sector."I am grateful to SME... Read more

Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP

“From the hairdressers, restaurants and corner shops which are part of our everyday lives to the exciting new tech start-ups and small online microbusinesses SMEs are the backbone of the British economy. If Labour are to win power again we have to have the support of those who work in... Read more

Seema Malhotra MP

“I would like to congratulate SME 4 Labour for all the amazing work that they do in championing small businesses in the Labour Party. SMEs play a vital role in local communities in promoting cohesion and also strongly support the economy."SME 4 Labour provides a powerful voice for business in... Read more

Sonny Leong CBE

Why do we need SME4Labour? 99.9% of private sector businesses are SMEs, employing an estimated 15.7 million people, which is well over half the private sector workforce. It accounts for nearly half of private sector turnover at £1.8 trillion (2016). SMEs are not only the source of a lot of... Read more

Stephen Kinnock MP

“SMEs are the backbone of the backbone of our economy: employing around half the private sector workforce, making up 99% of British businesses, and accounting for over a third of our national turnover.Small business-owners and their staff know the value of hard work as much as anyone else and Labour... Read more

Tom Watson MP

“SME 4 Labour is a vital component of the conversation that the Labour Party will have with voters between now and the 2020 election. More than five million small and medium enterprises in Britain employ over 15 million people, and are the productive frontier of our future economy.Clear, strong and... Read more

Make your nominations for the Labour Excellence Awards

--- NOMINATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED --- Our first annual gala will see the launch of the Labour Excellence Awards, which will recognise the impact of Labour members at the local and national level. We are accepting nominations for awards, to be decided by a panel of judges appointed by SME4Labour,... Read more

Small businesses are engines of social justice and employment

To many of us, it surely seems right now that the world is changing in unexpected, and sometimes scary, ways.  Work is changing and so is the labour market. More and more people are self-employed. If we want to create a fair and just world, with jobs for all, we... Read more

It’s time to make sure that Labour represents small business

This month saw the official launch of SME4Labour – the new organisation building links between the Labour Party and small and medium-sized enterprises, micro businesses, start-ups and the self-employed.Formed by a group of small business owners, freelancers and people with an active policy interest in SMEs, we were delighted last... Read more

Why we have set up SME4Labour

If Labour is to make inroads in the coming years, we must reinforce Labour’s position as the obvious party for those of us who are self-employed, own and run small and medium-sized businesses.There is no doubt that British businesses, both large and small, are vital to the future success of our country.... Read more

In parliament

It’s during plenary sessions that committees and political groups present the results of their work. It is also where the MEPs, the only EU representatives directly elected by citizens of the 28 Member States, participate in decision making. There are 12 plenary sessions per year held in Strasbourg and each session lasts... Read more

TUC ‘No to Austerity’ march

On Sunday 4th October I joined over 60,000 Trade Unionists and supporters to march through the streets of Manchester to say no to austerity and yes to workers’ rights.The atmosphere was exhilarating with thousands of people carrying placards and banners, peacefully showing their opposition to this Tory Government and their cuts... Read more

Refugee crisis is test for Balkan stability

Labour MEP Afzal Khan has completed a three day visit to Serbia and Kosovo, as part of an official Delegation of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET).He has met with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, as well as Kosovo President Afitete Jahjaga. Meetings were also held with Ministers in charge... Read more

15.2 million people employed by SME’s

If Labour is to make inroads in the coming years, we must reinforce Labour’s position as the obvious party for those of us who are self –employed, own and run small and medium sized businesses.There is no doubt that the British businesses, both large and small, are vital to the future success... Read more

Pakistan Parade 2015

It was great to attend this year’s Pakistan Parade as hundreds of people, dressed in green to commemorate the Pakistani flag, walked through Manchester’s Asian hub, the curry mile.With lively entertainment, music and singing, the Parade was a joyous way to mark Pakistan’s Independence as well as the culture and achievements of... Read more

Cheadle & Hazel Grove Fundraiser

Afzal Khan MEP with Cheadle CLP Chair, Yvonne Guariento (right) and Kath Priestly   I was delighted to be invited by Cheadle and Hazel Grove CLPs to speak at their fundraiser on Friday 18th September.  The evening was both entertaining and informative as we enjoyed a quizz, a raffle and... Read more

Supporting Amir Khan’s Foundation With Aid For Syrian refugees

I was honoured to support Amir Khan’s Foundation and others who came together to organise an aid relief convoy to the Greece border for Syrian refugees. I visited one of their aid drop off locations with Muhammad Abubaker Sarwar at the Polish and Glow in Manchester to help load trucks... Read more

Deputy Leadership Candidate Tom Watson MP joins Afzal for Q&A

I was a huge pleasure to welcome Deputy Leadership candidate, Tom Watson MP, to the Irish World Heritage Centre to meet North West members and supporters. It was a fantastic event with attendees travelling from right across the North West to meet with Tom and listen to his views.We had... Read more

Muslim Jewish Forum’s 10th anniversary celebrations

On Sunday I attended the Muslim Jewish Forum’s ‘Asian Meal Out’ to continue it’s 10th anniversary celebrations in Manchester.After co-founding the Muslim Jewish Forum with the late Henry Guterman MBE, it’s fantastic to see the forum continue to flourish with hundreds of people involved with its excellent work towards community... Read more

Great to welcome Alan Johnson MP

It was great to welcome Alan Johnson MP, who is to lead the EU Referendum Yes Campaign for the Labour Party, to the European Parliament recently. Alan addressed Labour MEPs, speaking about his role leading the Labour Yes campaign and how we can highlight the benefits of staying in Europe... Read more

Defiant Cooper rallies supporters at SME4Labour dinner

This week, Yvette Cooper MP and her supporters gathered in North London as the Labour leadership election enters its final phrase. MPs, volunteers and non-party members were among guests attending the fundraising dinner hosted by SME4Labour, a new group within the Labour Party promoting small and medium sized businesses within the Party.Rallying... Read more

Labour Business Relations

British businesses, both large and small, are vital to the future success of our country. But we know that in today's tough economic climate many face significant challenges as they seek to expand and develop.One Nation Labour is determined to recognise and support enterprise so we can modernise and reform... Read more

Miliband outlines Labour’s plans for small business

Ed Miliband has today outlined Labour’s plan for small businesses, which he says are suffering due to rising costs and a shortage of skills.The Labour leader said that the party would make small business a key part of plans; he said, in particular, they would set up a Small Business... Read more

Boosting Local SME Sector and Jobs Growth

The most important issue in Aberconwy, like much of the rest of the country is jobs and the economy.  The latest estimate is that there are 3,400 people in the constituency looking for work. Last year in his conference speech Ed Miliband talked about changing our economy to support producers... Read more

Reduce Employer’s National Insurance to Help SMEs

Whilst the Conservative Party have recently championed investment in infrastructure and are trying to position themselves as the party of business, it is useful to consider that they are doing little on some of the issues small business is crying out for help on.  These include childcare provision, widening access... Read more

Nurturing Spontaneous Innovation at Cambridge Knowledge Cluster

At 9.30 am we jumped into taxis outside Cambridge station and headed to Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group or MADG (www.marshalladg.com).  Marshall ADG is still innovating today, playing a central role in the Cambridge community, while exporting its services all over the globe. We were welcomed by CEO Steve Fitz-Gerald... Read more

Labour in Tune with Small Business Aspiration

LFIG had the enviable problem of having a room that was too small for their fringe meeting on small business at the Labour Party conference. It was standing room only as sixty plus people packed into the room to hear the full Labour panel answering questions on “An Enterprising Nation... Read more

New Cooperative Banking Model, Empowering Communities Swiss Style

The saga of scandals emanating from the global banking sector seems to be endless. Accusations of manipulation of foreign exchange and other paper markets are only the latest in a long series of public exposures, undermining trust in our financial system.  Banks play a vital role in a modern capitalist... Read more

Britain’s SME’s, Drivers of Economic Recovery

Globalization can bring the threat of a weakened SME sector, since its role in direct exporting is less than proportional to its size; economies of scale is important in the international commerce.  But with small businesses being so key to the economy, it is essential we continue to support their... Read more

Global Rules v UK Public Interest: New Companies Commission Needed

It is now recognised in the UK that International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) mandated by the EU along with the voluntary adoption by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of International Auditing Standards (ISAs) in 2005 contributed significantly to the financial crisis by allowing banks to overstate profits and asset values. ... Read more

A Financial Sector that Better Serves the UK Economy

The UK needs a well-functioning financial sector which supports sustained and inclusive growth of the real economy.  The UK financial sector needs to encourage and mobilise savings, intermediate these savings at low cost into efficient investment that helps increase high productivity jobs, as well as helping manage risks. Because the... Read more

Emma Reynolds MP supports Small Business Saturday

Emma Reynolds MP is tomorrow celebrating the role that small businesses play in Wolverhampton as part of the UK’s first ever ‘Small Business Saturday’.Small Business Saturday is a grass-roots campaign that encourages people to shop locally and support small businesses in their local communities. It is set to be the... Read more

Support for Small Business Saturday

Tristan Osborne backs Small Business Saturday in Luton Village to encourage local traders to grow.  Small Business Saturday UK was initiated by Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna MP following the success of the concept in the USA. Last year, Britain’s first ever Small Business Saturday was a huge success,... Read more

Phil Wilson MP Supports Small Business Saturday

Phil Wilson, MP for Sedgefield, took part in a cupcake making workshop at Love Thy Cupcake in Newton Aycliffe as part of this year’s Small Business Saturday.  Mr Wilson said: “It was an honour to get behind our areas local small shops and independent businesses on Small Business Saturday. We should do all... Read more

Ed Miliband backs Croydon’s small businesses

Labour leader Ed Miliband MP came Christmas shopping in Croydon to support local businesses on the UK’s first-ever Small Business Saturday. Ed Miliband and Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna joined Croydon North MP Steve Reed on a visit to local shops in Crystal Palace. Ed Miliband bought a jigsaw... Read more

Stephen and Shadow Business Minister welcome Small Business Saturday bus tour to Cardiff Bay

Stephen is supporting Small Business Saturday – which takes place on December 7 – and ahead of the day itself, a nationwide bus tour visited Cardiff on Tuesday, December 3.  Stephen was joined by Labour’s Shadow Business Minister Toby Perkins MP to mark the event, and they are pictured with... Read more

Labour MP Bill Esterson Welcomes Free Christmas Parking

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has welcomed Labour-run Sefton Council's free festive parking initiative which is designed to help local businesses.  The Labour leader of Sefton Council, Cllr Peter Dowd, delivered an early Christmas present for shoppers and businesses with the introduction of a series of free parking incentives.... Read more

Steve Gears Up to Support Small Business Saturday

Steve Rotheram MP has joined Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna MP in celebrating the contribution of small firms in Walton as part of this year’s Small Business Saturday on 6 December. Consumers are being encouraged to ‘shop small’ and celebrate the contribution of entrepreneurs and small firms this weekend.  Last... Read more

MP Celebrates Small Business Saturday at Kiddy Candy Salon

Warrington North MP Helen Jones celebrated Small Business Saturday by visiting the Kiddy Candy Salon on Orford Lane. Small Business Saturday is a grass roots campaign that encourages people to shop locally and support small businesses in the local community.   Last year was the first time it took place in... Read more

Planning for Small Business Saturday

The choice and unique character of our local shops and businesses is greatly valued, not least because small businesses provide almost two-thirds of all private sector employment and almost half of private sector turnover.  Each year, we get the chance to celebrate the best that is local on Small Business... Read more

Regional and Trade Union Visit to EP

After a gruelling general election campaign, I felt it was important to recognise and thank our campaign organisers and trade union activists who worked so hard throughout the last two years. As such, I was honoured to host a 30 strong group of campaign co-ordinators and trade union representatives from... Read more

Commemorating Hiroshima & Nagasaki With NFLA

It’s been 70 years since the the US dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII.  The attack killed at least 140,000 people in Hiroshima alone and remains the only incident of nuclear warfare in the history of man.As a Vice President of Mayors for Peace,... Read more

Manchester Town Hall Silence for Kuwait & Tunisia Terror Victims

On Friday 3rd July, a public midday silence was held at Manchester Town Hall to commemorate the victims of the terror attacks perpetrated in Tunisia and Kuwait on 26th and 27th June respectively. The Lord Mayor, Paul Murphy OBE, Sir Richard Leese, Leader of the Council and a number of Councillors... Read more

Twin Cities: Past & Present

Afzal Khan MEP with Cllr Derek Antrobus, John Garrard (Salford University & MMU) and Alan Kidd (MMU) On Saturday 27th June, I spoke at the Twin Cities in Past and Present conference organised by the Manchester Centre for Regional History at the Manchester Metropolitan University.  The purpose of the conference... Read more

USDAW Federation School: Equality

Afzal Khan MEP with Terry Adair (USDAW NW) and Kate Green MP   On 6th -7th June, USDAW trade union held their Federation school on the issue of Equality in Warrington. Terry Adair, USDAW federation secretary, introduced myself and Kate Green MP as guest speakers to the the 40 strong delegation.I spoke about... Read more

Multifaith Iftar 2015

Afzal Khan MEP with Bishop David Walker and Revd Falak Sher With the month of Ramadan falling in June this year, Muslims across the world are fasting 17+ hours a day as they go without food from dawn until dusk.  Although this may sound tiring, Ramadan is also a time... Read more

FEPS Conference: Islam In Europe

Afzal Khan MEP with FEPS team and EU Foreign High-Rep, Federica Mogherini (centre) On 24th-25th June, 2015 the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) hosted their annual conference in the European Parliament on the theme of ‘Islam in Europe.’The conference was particularly interesting as it featured a variety of speakers,... Read more

Progressive Solutions to Countering Violent Extremism

The S&D Group organised an event last week, 21st April 2015, entitled ‘Progressive Solutions to Countering Violent Extremism’ It was held in light of the recent terrorist attacks across Europe and amidst a climate of debate and discussion the issue currently in the European Parliament. The aim of the event... Read more

S&D Leader Spends the Summer in Manchester

My dear friend and colleage, Gianni Pittella MEP, President of the Socialist and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, spent his time here in Manchester this summer to learn English.  As an Italian MEP, he is keen pick up the language and was just as keen to learn more of this... Read more

Delegation to Saudi Arabia, 14th-16th February 2015

The delegation visit to Saudi Arabia took place at an interesting time.  The country had just recently inherited a new king after the death of the late King Abdullah bin AbdulAziz and had witnessed a smooth transition onto his half-brother, the now King Salman of Saudi Arabia.As the world showed their... Read more

Young Labour Visit To European Parliament

On 24th February 2015,  I had the honour of hosting a rather lively bunch of young labour activists during a visit to European Parliament that my office had organised.  They hailed from across Greater Manchester and were quite a diverse group numbering 22 altogether.  They hailed from across Greater Manchester and were... Read more

Conference: The Welfare State and Long Term Care in Europe

I recently spoke at a conference held in the European Parliament addressing the challenges of long term care in Europe.The event was organised by Mr Pier Antonio Panzeri, S&D MEP from Italy and featured a number of experts and MEPs of different countries debating about the issue.  You can find the programme of the event here.... Read more

European Parliamentary Labour Party

Afzal Khan MEP with EPLP Leader, Glenis Willmott (blue), S&D Leader, Gianni Pittella and other key Labour MEPs. The EPLP brings together Britain’s 20 Labour MEPs as Labour’s voice in Europe. From responding to the eurozone crisis to working for a fairer society, from fighting crime, to tackling climate change... Read more

Multifaith & Youth Visit

My first visiting group was an impressively diverse one, numbering 26 people in total.  It consisted of multifaith leaders representing the five major religious groups in the North West, namely, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism.Part of the group was the Bishop of Middleton, Bishop Mark Davies, Mr Dermot Murphy... Read more

Duncan Enright

Duncan Enright is the Managing Director and owner of Evidence-based Networks Ltd, a small publisher based in Oxfordshire. His career in publishing spans 30 years including senior positions at Reed Elsevier and five years as head of the British National Formulary. Duncan is also leader of the Labour Group on... Read more

Stephen Alambritis

Stephen Alambritis was born in Cyprus and left there for London in the 1960’s with his parents and three sisters. In May 2010 Stephen was elected as Leader of the Council at the London Borough of Merton and re-elected again to that position in May 2014 for another four year... Read more

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