§ Mr. Yeo
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made towards the targets set in 2000 for achievement in 2001–04, to achieve(a) an increase in the number of people considering going into business, (b) an improvement in the overall productivity of small firms and (c) more enterprise in disadvantaged communities. 
§ Ms Hewitt
[holding answer 26 November 2002]: Progress against the targets set in 2000 will be published shortly on the DTI website.
We will be able to report progress on the number of people considering going into business in early 2004, based on result from the 2003 Household Survey of Entrepreneurship.
SMEs productivity increased faster than all firms in the UK between 1999 and 2000.
Between 2000 and 2001 there was a narrowing of the gap between VAT registration rates in the most and least deprived wards in England.