£30 million will be made available over two years. This will address a gap in the market for providing external business advice such as making a successful loan application to a bank or taking on an employee.
Back in September 2012 the British Chambers of Commerce were asking for £100m in vouchers of £5,000 per Business, open to up to 20,000 small and medium-sized businesses, but £30m is good start.
To test the approach, “a new marketplace for external business advice” will be created.
Advice could be focused on the following areas:
Legal, HR, accounting advice: As businesses expand, accounting and HR systems become more complex, and small businesses in particular can struggle to make sense of employment law and tax systems. Advice would help businesses understand these complex functions, allowing them to be more efficient, and focus on growth.
Access to finance advice: Smaller, younger, and high-growth businesses often have more difficulty accessing finance than more established firms, and some are unaware of the options available outside traditional debt finance. Advice could also address the problem of discouraged demand, and may result in more businesses obtaining finance to boost investment plans.
Marketing advice and training: Helping businesses with marketing their products and services here and importantly in overseas markets could lead to more sales, and growth opportunities for many firms.
Planning support: The complexity of the planning system means many businesses need to hire in external consultants at a high cost. The costs will often put firms off expansion, so offering companies free advice would help motivate businesses to grow and expand their premises.
Staff training: Workforce skills consistently rank among the top three concerns among Chamber members across the country. As businesses expand and develop their goods and services, increased staff training is often needed to help firms grow.
Export advice: Urgent action is needed to support the UK’s potential and current exporters to help rebalance the UK economy towards exports. Many businesses do not have the advice or skills they need to break into new markets. Export training and access to market intelligence and trade shows and missions, could help many businesses take the first step to exporting, and open new markets for current exporters.
If you have an idea for a business and need a bit of cash to get started or you’re running a small business and need up to £500 to buy equipment, promotion flyers, hardware etc, you can apply.
Apply for between £50 and £500 and once you receive the money, the only thing we ask is you agree to be profiled on the site so we can see how you’re getting on. The money doesn’t have to be paid back; it’s for you to use on your idea or business.
Apply online and outline how much money you need and for what purpose. Make a good case for your idea and then encourage as many people as possible to vote for you. The number of votes required is equal to the amount of funding you’re looking for so to obtain £500 you’ll need to secure 500 virtual votes.
Remember, the Enterprise Nation community will help you spend the dosh! Want to use it to buy a camera to take good pictures of your products? Ask peers about the best deal on the market. Want to spend the money on a Google Adwords campaign but not sure where to start? Watch our video clips that will show you how!
Sounds like an interesting idea and if all you need is votes, how hard can it be?
Under this scheme, for a limited period and subject to meeting certain conditions, new businesses may qualify for a deduction of up to £5,000 from the employer NICs that would normally be due – for each of the first ten employees they take on.
The National Insurance contributions (NICs) holiday is available to new businesses that start up during the period from 22 June 2010 to 5 September 2013.
The types of business that may be able to apply for the holiday are:
a sole trader, company or partnership that begins to carry on a trade, profession or vocation
a property business or investment business
a new trading charity whether or not it is carrying out activities with a view to profit
Managed Service Companies do not qualify for the holiday.
If you have recently started a new business its well worth finding out if it will qualify.