Posted: Thu 10th Nov 2011
The Prime Minister has taken a leaf out of Enterprise Nation's book today by announcing an enormous package of measures to help small businesses grow by accessing Â finance (think Fund101) and getting a foothold in export markets (think Go Global). This is exactly what we've been enacting for months! Small businesses can't grow without financial support from banks and grant-giving bodies and without the kind of financial breaks that Government can offer (and which we argued for in our Small Business Report 2011). And with the flat economy at home, it makes a whole lot of sense for businesses to sell to growing markets overseas. In fact, we know you're already doing this - our own research has found that 67 per cent of brand new companies are making overseas sales in their first year. But there's a big difference between attracting some overseas customers through your ecommerce platform and actually developing a strategy for targeting customers in overseas markets. We're also giving you as much information about exporting as we can"¦ Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said: "Anything that helps people start and grow small businesses is a very positive thing. I was particularly pleased the Prime Minister was talking about access to finance - this is why we launched Fund101, because we could see people needed this money when they were starting and growing their business. "In terms of exporting, international trade is absolutely critical and I was pleased the Prime Minister showed support for helping 100,000 small UK businesses trade overseas. There's access to 1.2 billion online customers Â globally, and our survey showed that young businesses are embracing international trade like never before. But in addition to online sales, selling overseas gives small businesses the chance to really broaden their horizons." In fact, we're so into helping you tap into these growing markets that as well as the Go Global events, we're launching a Go Global app on Monday that will give instant access to relevant details, news and cultural information for 30 of the UK's major export destinations. There's even a quiz! Please take a look at the initiatives that were announced today - there are a lot of workshops and training programmes being set up all over the country, and lots of different organisations are involved, too, from Chambers of Commerce to Intuit to UK Trade & Investment. There'll almost certainly be something going on that can benefit you.
Â£95 million of new Regional Growth Fund money has been allocated for small and medium-sized enterprises who can't access commercial funding.
From 1st April 2012,Â 'one-click registration' will go live on the Companies House website, so so businesses can register their business sign up for PAYE registration, Corporation Tax and self-assessment all in one place.
The National Export Challenge, a series of initiatives to give small firms the knowledge they need to make the first steps to breaking into new markets.
The 'Open to Export' web resource providing small businesses with professional export advice, hosted by Yell and the British Chambers of Commerce.
A new campaign to promote different sources of finance to small businesses and give them tools and advice including a new Finance Finder tool on the Business Link website;
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is launching a partnership with Barclays to provide free finance advice for small businesses on their website.
ICAEW's new Business Advice Service will offer free advice sessions in over 2,400 locations across the country, on topics from finding finance, dealing with regulation and export planning.
Intuit will be announcing a nationwide series of 'business boot camps' next week.
A variety of exporting initiatives led by banks.
And a fair bit more besides. Image by UK in Italy