Business Secretary Vince Cable today kicked off a wave of activity to boost small businesses, including unveiling the first funding allocation from the British Business Bank's investment programme and launching a campaign to help small firms grow.
The campaign, ‘Business is GREAT Britain’ aims to build confidence among SMEs by showcasing inspirational examples of similar sized businesses, like Arif Majothi in mid Yorkshire who set-up his own gaming company.
Arif who lives in Batley received help from West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency to start his own business in September this year. He is a passionate gamer and set-up Arif Games after working on several award-winning games and films.
The launch of his very first game, ‘The Daily Feature’, was a huge hit and attracted instant accolades. It was recognised by FHM as Game of the Day and received recognition from E4, Jayls Games, indiegames.com and Blistered Thumbs.
Arif was assigned his own business mentor by the Enterprise Agency, which was crucial to his success. Today’s announcement from the Government highlights the help available to businesses, including:
•A new £1 million Sector Mentoring Challenge Fund that will enable firms to benefit from support and advice from experienced business people in their own field of work.
•A £10 million synthetic biology start up fund from the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC) to help entrepreneurial scientists working in synthetic biology get their business off the ground.
•The successful Growth Accelerator scheme, which provides specialised coaching to small businesses with high-growth potential, will have helped 10,000 firms in the coming weeks.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Today we have set out a comprehensive package of measures that will address the concerns of small firms.
“The first investments from the British Business Bank’s investment programme will provide choice to smaller businesses looking to secure vital finance to help invest. Alongside cutting red tape and increasing the take up of business rate relief, Government has already made significant progress in improving the business outlook for small firms and entrepreneurs.”
The first £45 million of funding from the British Business Bank is to be committed to Praesidian Capital Europe (£30 million) and BMS Finance (£15 million) to provide debt finance of approximately £125 million through their respective new funds. Once legal terms are agreed it is expected that both funds will start lending to small businesses in early 2014.
A new business support website, www.greatbusiness.gov.uk will also make it easy to access the services and products, including Manufacturing Advice Service, National Apprenticeship Service and Growth Accelerator that help businesses grow.