The Virtue of Enterprise

The Virtue of Enterprise

Responsible Business for a New Economy Published: January 2014

ResPublica's latest essay collection 'The Virtue of Enterprise' is now available to download

A radical change in attitude from our “new economy” businesses is needed if the private sector is to regain the trust of British consumers and promote a new economy of truly responsible capitalism, the latest publication from the think tank ResPublica urges today.

With public trust in businesses at an all-time low and bankers at the “bottom of the league”, ResPublica’s publication The Virtue of Enterprise: Responsible business for a new economy, calls for an improved model of corporate governance and responsibility that ushers in a new era of accountability and transparency. Business sustainability is reliant on trust and reputation, especially in the case of companies leading the ‘new economy’. Fostering the climate for responsible business is the way towards cementing UK’s leading place in the global economy.

The publication is launched following intensive debates in Parliament on the need for a reformed banking system, triggered by a collapse of trust in banks. According to a recent poll by British Social Attitudes, only 19 percent of people believe banks are well run and unfortunately this is just one of the manifestations of this ‘trust crisis’ facing the British private sector, as 51 percent of Britons no longer trust in business.

With a foreword by Baroness Greengross OBE, Chair of the All-Party Corporate Responsibility Group, and an introduction by Phillip Blond, Director at ResPublica, the collection warns that, without a new moral framework for business that commits to producing long-term value, the mismatch in expectations between consumers and shareholders will lead to even lower levels of public trust in business.

The publication brings together essays from a range of policy-makers and key figures in the business world, including Ian Powell, Vice Chairman, PwC, Baroness Ruth Lister CBE, Member of the House of Lords and Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, John Mann MP, Michael Izza, Chief Executive, ICAEW, Andrea Leadsom MP, and Chi Onwurah MP, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Office Minister. Drawing on their diverse backgrounds and fields of expertise, together these authors argue for a concrete implementation of the principles of responsible and moral capitalism.