Expert Comment: Now That The General Election Is Over, What’s Next For Startups?

Last week’s General Election and the appointment of a new Labour Government has been a huge moment in UK politics, with both individuals and businesses apprehensive about the months (and years) to come.

As new political leaders take their positions and policies begin to come into play, startups will be looking to see how this new government will affect them, keen to understand the opportunities and challenges at play.

Here, we ask the experts what they think is next for startups, and discuss the core themes and factors that will shape the UK’s startup future.

Let’s take a look…


Our Experts


  • Julian Hucks, Founder and Managing Director at Starpeak Insurance Solutions
  • Scott Dawson, Head of Sales and Strategic Partnerships at DECTA
  • Claire Agutter, Lead Author and Director at Scopism
  • Magali Van Bulck, Head of Government Relations at Wise
  • Kevin Fitzgerald, UK MD of Employment Hero
  • John Hartley, CEO at Levidian
  • Steve Hare, CEO at Sage
  • Matt Ford, Co-Founder and CEO at Sidekick
  • Dale Peters, Senior Research Director at TechMarketView
  • Volodymyr Levykin, CEO and Founder at Skyrora
  • Richard Potter, CEO at Peak
  • Sinead McHale, CEO at Satago
  • Andy Peddar, CEO at Deazy
  • Zain Ali, CEO and Co-Founder of Centuro Global
  • Teresa Payne, Managing Partner at Lawyers Parfitt Cresswell
  • Ed Johnson, CEO and Co-Founder of PushFar
  • Paul Dodd, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Huboo
  • Barry O’Donohoe, Co-Founder and CEO at Raidiam
  • Thomas Farquhar, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Heatio
  • Wil Benton, Co-Founder and Director at Metta
  • Chloe Vernon-Shore, Commercial Partner at Michelmores, and Co-Lead of MAINstream


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Julian Hucks, Founder and Managing Director at Starpeak Insurance Solutions


My big idea: Starpeak insurance


“Labour’s General Election victory should be a step in the right direction when it comes to tackling the ongoing issue of underinsurance for small businesses. SMEs have had a tough few years navigating the cost-of-living crisis and other economic challenges, which has ultimately led to costs being cut. Unfortunately, insurance cover is among the casualties. Labour’s promise to stamp out late payment of invoices to small businesses should result in better cash flow – meaning more businesses will be able to pay for insurance cover on time and protect themselves against potential risk.

The pledge to address skills shortages is also great news for the insurance industry. Our field has been grappling with an aging workforce and struggling to attract new, ambitious talent. The introduction of new Technical Excellence Colleges will hopefully entice more young people into insurance by demonstrating the range of new roles that technology has created across the sector.”


Scott Dawson, Head of Sales and Strategic Partnerships at DECTA


Scott Dawson - Head of Sales & Strategic Partnerships at DECTA - Member of Finextra Research


“It was a divisive election but what matters now is that the new government prioritise common sense policies, including those in favour of the fintech community and its significant potential to better serve UK businesses. This especially goes for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which collectively supports 27 million jobs. That is 61% of UK employment and accounts for a staggering £4.5 trillion in annual turnover.”

“Political clarity will be key to achieving this. Labour have been selling themselves as ‘not Tories’ and the Tories have been selling themselves as ‘not Labour’, and so on and so on. These parties have been defining themselves on what they’re not – it’s going to be interesting to see what they actually are and what solutions they will bring to strengthen the economy.”

“Despite 14 years of discussions about fostering innovation, regional development, and tech investment, London’s status as a supposed global fintech hub ever translated into meaningful government action – hopefully we’ll see a change to this now. Primarily, the government should look to actively promote private sector investment as and when it materialises.”

“It would also be positive to see this government learn from some of the most impactful changes that were implemented prior to the UK leaving the EU. The Payment Services Directive (PSD) regulations, for instance, spurred innovation by introducing Open Banking and 3DS services. Embracing, not fearing, regulation could be a game-changer. Less aversion to strong government support would be positive could unlock significant profit potential and fuel further innovation for UK businesses – helping them to prosper through better access to finance and financial services.”


Claire Agutter, Lead Author and Director at Scopism


SIAM Body of Knowledge: Video Showcase by Claire Agutter - Scopism


“Today’s landscape of political uncertainty can often cause businesses to pause projects, which stalls progress and innovation. Yet, those willing to progress usually have an advantage if they can utilise tools to stabilise and continue growth. By adopting service integration and management (SIAM) principles, companies can navigate choppy waters with resilience and agility, ensuring they not only survive but thrive in uncertain times.

“Stagnation poses a significant risk in politically uncertain environments, which can hinder adaptability and competitiveness. However, SIAM provides a comprehensive framework for businesses to effectively manage services, optimise resources, and swiftly respond to political shifts. From finance to healthcare, industries across the board have reaped the rewards of SIAM implementation, which brings clarity to a complex supply environment. SIAM allows you to focus on end-to-end value and identify all of the service providers that support that value. SIAM helps your service providers understand where they fit into the big picture and how they contribute to business outcomes, enjoying streamlined processes and enhanced performance.

“To excel in the face of political uncertainty, businesses must foster a culture of continual improvement and invest in SIAM methodologies. Partnering with seasoned experts like Scopism can further bolster this journey, offering invaluable guidance in SIAM implementation and service optimisation. Embracing SIAM not only shields businesses from uncertainty but also fortifies them to emerge stronger and more resilient in the ever-changing landscape of politics and commerce.”


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Magali Van Bulck, Head of Government Relations at Wise


Magali Van Bulck - Wise


“Over the past decade, Britain’s financial sector has grown evermore competitive as fintechs, like Wise, have established themselves. This has benefited consumers, small businesses and the economy.

“But some things can’t be left to the market alone. For too long, traditional banks and financial institutions have ripped consumers and businesses off with hidden fees – fees concealed in the exchange rate whenever they send or spend money overseas. Last year, British consumers and small businesses lost £4.4bn in these fees, while the lack of transparency also suppresses fair competition. It’s a market failure that Labour has committed to fixing. We look forward to working with the newly elected Government to deliver on those promises and ensure the UK can meet its commitment to UN SDGs and G20 targets – it is currently not on track to do so.

“As a matter of urgency, we encourage the newly elected government to complete the Payment Services Regulations review, and make the rules fit for purpose. It’s time to scrap the loopholes that rip off consumers and businesses. Everyone should know what they pay.”


Kevin Fitzgerald, UK MD of Employment Hero


Kevin Fitzgerald joins Employment Hero as Managing Director for Asia | HRM Asia : HRM Asia


“Alongside the SME community, I am now looking to the Labour Party for increased support, as outlined in their manifesto. Labour’s commitment to enhancing AI skills development is a welcomed initiative. It’s time to empower our workforce with cutting-edge technological expertise and position the UK at the forefront of innovation. As a business, we pledge to assist the new government in developing the infrastructure needed to make this happen.

“Late payments are a sore subject for most business owners, and the parties pledge to tackle this issue will significantly enhance cash flow management. I’m interested to see how this will be implemented, as it will certainly enable SMEs to operate more smoothly.

“Labour also aims to create more jobs, but I’m yet to see a concrete plan for making this happen. The creation of Great British Energy will take time, but people need jobs now. We don’t have time to waste.

“Investment in recruitment technologies is key because the current system is broken: SMEs can’t afford expensive job ads, and job seekers are waiting months for a response. Employment Hero is addressing this challenge by offering any SME in the UK free access to our AI talent matching tool, SmartMatch.

“This is a PSA to our new Government: if you’re serious about solving unemployment, we have the technology to make it happen. Let’s talk.”


John Hartley, CEO at Levidian


John Hartley


“We welcome the election of a government which has put green growth at the centre of its plans. Now is the time to unleash UK climate technology as we build GB Energy, deploy new infrastructure and use this expertise to support at scale and create millions of green jobs. We need more diverse bets on UK climate tech to ensure robust growth, job creation, and increased tax revenues.

“The UK excels at innovation but has often lagged in bringing these innovations to market, leaving other countries to reap the benefits. Labour has an opportunity to re-write the script. To achieve this, it should first look at fostering partnerships between businesses, academia, and the public sector to create an ecosystem where cutting-edge technologies can thrive and be exported globally. That alone could herald the start of a new energy revolution.”


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Steve Hare, CEO at Sage



“Politics aside, many leaders of the UK’s SMBs will welcome a decisive outcome, as businesses need certainty and a stable policy environment to grow and thrive. Now, to kickstart economic growth, this new Labour government must take action to support the nation’s small and mid-sized firms.

“SMBs, which make up 99% of the business population, often struggle with poor cash flow and late payments in an economy improperly optimised for digital transactions. The new government must bring forward a robust digital strategy within the first 100 days that is based on promoting technologies such as AI and e-invoicing. Initiatives such as these will allow SMBs to transform their operations and increase their ability to scale, and consequently make substantial contributions to the economy.”


Matt Ford, Co-Founder and CEO at Sidekick


Matthew Ford - Sidekick | LinkedIn


“There are multiple ways the incoming Labour government can further support entrepreneurship and scaling businesses in the UK tech sector, ensuring we remain a leading tech ecosystem in Europe. For starters, the government needs a global perspective, working towards building regulatory bridges with Europe and beyond. They should streamline talent visas and continue to attract international capital, drawing the very best to work with growing British businesses, enabling them to scale and compete internationally. For the UK’s longer term success, we must address our IPO market. Too many companies opt to list elsewhere, and we have to do more to make this attractive at home.

“Finally, as a financial technology business, we would like to see the government acting on the reversal of the policy of fractional stocks in an ISA and broadening access to private markets rather than restricting it. The UK has long been a financial hub, and should continue to be progressive, particularly on financial regulation in the digital asset space. It’s fair to say that there are plenty of ways that Sir Keir Starmer’s government can continue to help.”


Dale Peters, Senior Research Director at TechMarketView


Dale Peters | TechMarketView


“Delivering economic growth and raising productivity will require the new government to create the conditions to support the appropriate application of digital technology and provide an environment where innovation can thrive. Labour plans to create a National Data Library to help deliver data-driven public services and introduce a new industry strategy to support the development of the AI sector and remove planning barriers to new datacentres. It will introduce 10-year funding cycles for key R&D institutions and aims to develop better industry and academic partnerships. All of which will be welcomed by the tech sector.

“There will also be more support for Whitehall and the wider public sector to modernise their services, standardise approaches to procurement, and enhance digital skills. Peter Kyle, Shadow Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, has stated that he wants to see Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) become the “the digital centre for government… responsible for delivering common platforms and reforming roadblocks to data exchange across the public sector”.


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Volodymyr Levykin, CEO and Founder at Skyrora


Volodymyr Levykin | Skyrora


“The new government must create a supportive environment for the space sector in the form of both private and public investment. Not only will funding this innovation place the UK at the forefront of this industry globally, it will also help foster economic growth and job creation. Unlocking sovereign access to space and enabling the sector to thrive is the key to strengthening our national security and defence capabilities. This, in combination with greater defence investment for UK businesses, should not fall off the political agenda.”


Richard Potter, CEO at Peak


Meet Richard Potter, CEO at Decision Intelligence Platform: Peak - TechRound


“Now that the election is over, what’s next for startups”

“With a Labour victory now confirmed, we welcome what this means for the UK tech scene. Labour’s commitment to AI investment and innovation is cause for optimism, as well as its focus on upskilling the national workforce to keep pace with rapidly advancing technologies.

“We have always believed that a central Regulatory Innovation Office, which provides directives, guidance and a single source of truth for all parties, is the way forward.

“Current cross-sectoral regulation results in nuances that cause ambiguity and unintentionally leave room for error or omissions. Therefore, the powers of each regulator, their relationship with each other and the new Office should be clearly defined as soon as possible. This clarity will allow organisations to accelerate without fear or confusion, ensuring the sector continues to flourish.”


Sinead McHale, CEO at Satago


Sinead McHale, Author at Sage Advice United Kingdom


“Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the heart of the UK economy, contributing significantly to employment, innovation and economic growth. In the current climate, the newly elected Labour government must prioritise and address their needs and concerns.

“Despite recent signs of easing inflation, business costs remain high. SMEs continue to grapple with profitability challenges and longer-term growth plans, with limited access to finance and late payments persisting from larger corporations.

“New policies must be implemented to support SMEs further, such as stricter penalties for late payments from larger businesses and incentivising prompt payment practices. Meanwhile, increased collaboration between fintechs and banks will help SMEs adopt more sustainable cashflow management practices. For example, invoice financing helps SMEs build resilience against future challenges and increases visibility by allowing them to access capital via their balance sheets.

“By prioritising fintech development, the new government can set the standard for fostering an overall prospective and resilient business environment. Ultimately benefiting SMEs and the entire UK.”


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Andy Peddar, CEO at Deazy



“The previous government has just drifted over the past few years and has taken its eye off the ball with regard to startups. The abolition of Tech Nation was disastrous, for example I know it has been replaced but the programme isn’t the same and is symptomatic of the muddled short-term thinking.”

“Empowering and encouraging start-up and scale-up growth is great for the economy, especially at the early stage. Not developing this sector risks the credibility and attractiveness of the UK as a tech hub. We have been at risk of start-ups being isolated and not supported at critical points in their development, and that has the potential to hamper growth of the next great job creators and taxpayers.”

“I don’t feel that politicians generally have the best understanding of tech and what it needs for tech start-ups to prosper. The age and background of many politicians do not lend themselves to a deep understanding of tech. More input from start-up and entrepreneurs now would be a big leap forward. Together we can focus on creating an ecosystem around start-ups that are growing quickly, gathering functional leaders together to discuss shared challenges and common growth pains and how best to solve them.”


Zain Ali, CEO and Co-Founder of Centuro Global



“This election result signifies a moment of change and opportunity for the business community after a decade of difficulties with Brexit, Covid, and instability within the Conservative party leadership. We look forward to seeing how the new government will address economic challenges and foster growth and innovation.

“In terms of support for businesses, I hope to see an increased focus on boosting investment in R&D, particularly with its manifesto commitments to boost AI development and create a ‘pro-innovation regulatory framework’.

“While there is optimism, though, Labour must urgently clarify its plans to reform the immigration and visa system. If Keir Starmer is truly serious about spurring economic growth, relief is needed for the skills-intensive businesses currently struggling to recruit the highly specialised workers they need with the burdensome system recently introduced by the Tories. The business community needs decisive action and clear policies to drive growth, and any delays could impact confidence and investment.

“Overall, we are cautiously optimistic. The potential for positive change is significant, and if Labour can deliver on its promises, the future for UK businesses looks bright. The focus must be on creating a supportive environment that addresses business needs and drives the economy forward.”


Teresa Payne, Managing Partner at Lawyers Parfitt Cresswell



“As with all growing businesses, access to diverse and affordable financing options is required to sustain Parfitt Cresswell’s ambitions and our commitment to justice. Without sufficient funding, it is a challenge to invest in new technology, expand our services, or manage cash flow. However a number of our clients are start-ups who are wholly reliant on investment. The new Labour Government must ensure that the UK is an attractive market for investment for both growing businesses, like mine, and start-ups, or both will stagnate and even die.”


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Ed Johnson, CEO and Co-Founder of PushFar



“My initial reaction to the news is one of concern for business owners and entrepreneurs. Under the Conservative government, we have seen some fantastic policies for fundraising and investment in startups, along with levels of entrepreneurial relief, and a drive for business growth opportunities.

“Unfortunately, we have received no reassurances or confirmation from Labour that they will maintain policies and schemes like the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) which enable startups and new businesses to raise investment with tax benefits for investors.

“We know that startup investments are inherently risky, and these incentives encourage a considerable number of individuals to support them due to these schemes. Assurances that these policies will remain in place are essential.

“There is a general feeling that Labour may see higher business taxes as a means to raise money and fill the considerable deficit in their plans. For small business owners and entrepreneurs, such tax increases could be the difference between hiring an additional employee or not.

“I would be keen to see an increase in the lifetime allowance for entrepreneur relief. For successful founders and entrepreneurs, the current lifetime allowance simply isn’t sufficient, and I’m already speaking with fellow founders who are considering relocating their businesses to other countries.”


Paul Dodd, Co-Founder And Chief Innovation Officer at Huboo


“Labour have promised to be pro-growth but haven’t committed to any significant changes in their manifesto. To help fuel growth amongst start-ups, they’ll need to make truly disruptive changes to red tape and tax for small companies and start-ups.

“Labour having a landslide will hopefully lead to a stable playing field, without the revolving door of prime ministers we’ve had in recent times. This stability will help both investors and businesses. We work with numerous small eCommerce businesses as their fulfilment partner, and they require this stability to create forecasts and have the confidence to spend more.”


Barry O’Donohoe, Co-Founder and CEO at Raidiam



“With the appointment of a new UK government, startups will be keeping a close eye on the possibility of stricter regulation and increased innovation support.

“Labour’s January “Funding Growth” statement calls for the creation of an Office of Regulatory Innovation, which aims to help regulators update regulations, accelerate approval schedules, and coordinate issues that cross traditional boundaries. This latter point is fundamental for startups operating in our sector. I hope it will achieve cross-sector interoperability for consented data sharing to the benefit of consumers, businesses, and public sector bodies. As always, the proof will be in the pudding.

“Startups in the data economy will also be calling upon the government to recommit to moving ahead with the Data Protection and Digital Information (DPDI) bill. This will create the conditions required to enable consumers and businesses to benefit more fully from the innovations of a connected digital economy in a way that protects their data and privacy, while also driving the UK fintech sector to new heights.

“On the innovation side, areas of focus that have previously been proposed by Labour include reform of corporate banking, aiming to improve access to finance for small businesses, as well as supporting university spin-offs.”


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Thomas Farquhar, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Heatio



“Certainty, stability and a government who recognises the importance of innovation is key to a healthy environment for start-ups to flourish. Start-ups need long-term clarity to grow and to be able to make the investments they need. As a result of this election, we hope consumer confidence will grow and the markets will stabilise with renewed energy. SMEs account for the overwhelming majority of jobs created in the UK and without confidence and long-term certainty, it’s difficult for them to thrive. Today is hopefully the start of a new period of growth and longevity, ultimately supporting wider economic growth.

“As a low carbon start-up, we know first-hand the difficulties that arise from the tumultuous and uncertain times that were created by a changing energy landscape and volatile startup environment. A lack of long term commitment and certainty to renewable energy made securing investment more difficult. Yet our strong business idea overcame the obstacles presented to us. Now there is hopefully a clear unambiguous path forward, we can earnestly progress , knowing we have the government’s long term support behind us.”


Wil Benton, Co-founder And Director at Metta



“The UK has consolidated its position as a point of reference for tech worldwide. We are leading the way in cutting-edge industries, with new and exciting startups emerging every day. We are hopeful the new government will keep the momentum up, supporting our great entrepreneurs and innovative startups coming up with the technologies that will share the way we live in the future. We would like to see government policies that fill in existing gaps in investment, ensure companies can access the talent they need, and create a regulatory landscape that works for startups, not against them. The UK has been thriving in an environment that’s proved to be a great place to breed unicorns, but there are still challenges that need to be addressed. We need a government that helps us break down the barriers that prevent our very best companies and entrepreneurs from succeeding.”


Chloe Vernon-Shore, Commercial Partner at Michelmores, And Co-Lead of MAINstream


Chloe Vernon-shore - Partner - Commercial | Michelmores


“Labour’s first weekend in power after the General Election on Thursday 4 July has been a busy one, with the Starmer Administration making a number of announcements promising to deliver the change that Labour’s election was predicated upon. While we wait to hear the detail from Rachel Reeves, the new Chancellor, we are keen to see how the new government will deliver on its manifesto pledge to empower the British Business Bank to invest more in growth capital and establish a British ‘Tibi’ scheme to increase institutional investment in venture capital and small cap growth equity.

“The British Business Bank (BBB) is a government-owned economic bank that specialises in helping businesses in the UK access financial support. It deployed a number of regional investment funds, including the South West Investment Fund, in 2023 to facilitate and accelerate investment into the regions. We have seen the confidence (or ‘halo-effect’) created for private investors by the BBB’s regional fund first hand at MAINstream and look forward to seeing how the BBB is further empowered by Sir Starmer and his new Cabinet.”


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