Growth vouchers to give micro business boost

Posted at May 14, 2013 | By : | Categories : Diversification,News,Renewables,Rural Business | Comments Off on Growth vouchers to give micro business boost

The Government is promising to helping thousands more new businesses get off the ground by expanding its Start-Up loan scheme and opening up further the £230 billion worth of public sector contracts to the smallest firms.

The scheme helps with the development of business ideas by providing a typical loan of £4,500 with mentoring support. Since the autumn, it has made 3,768 loans worth around £16 million and according to enterprise adviser, Lord Young, many of these new businesses are now taking on their own employees.

Further recommendations from Lord Young include:

  • A £30 million Growth Voucher programme to encourage more small firms to get specialist help on: expanding their workforce; marketing a business; financial management and growing online. Businesses that use external advice at key stages in their development grow faster than those that do not – but too few are taking this up.
  • Abolishing pre-qualification questionnaires on contracts under £200,000 across the public sector, and setting “single market” principles which suppliers can expect when doing business with the public sector.
  • A greater role for business schools in the local economy with the establishment of a new national “Supporting Small Business Charter” and accompanying award scheme to incentivise business schools to help SMEs grow.

The Government is now taking these recommendations forward, Lord Young said.

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