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The future of business support is here: This week on Enterprise Nation

The future of business support is here: This week on Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
 

Posted: Sun 29th Nov 2015

Head of content Dan Martin looks back on the past week at Enterprise Nation.

All eyes were on George Osborne on Wednesday for the combined Autumn Statement and Spending Review. As our live bloggers noted during the speech there didn't seem to be many major announcements of interest to small businesses, but as often with the government, the devil was in the detail.

Included in the full document published after George sat down was this: "To support trade and investment and meet targets including £1 trillion of exports by 2020, the government will refocus UK Trade and Investment to enable it to become a world-class export and investment promotion agency. This will enhance direct support to business and develop the private sector market".

The words "develop the private sector market" are key here as our view is that the government is now tasking private sector organisations like Enterprise Nation with delivering business support.

#AS2015 had lots for workers + little for small business. Govn recognition that private sector support will prevail.

"" Emma Jones (@emmaljones) November 25, 2015

That was further confirmed on Friday when it was revealed that following the 17% cut in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills' budget, Growth Accelerator and the Manufacturing Advisory Service, part of the government's Business Growth Service, are closing down.

"Where taxpayers' money is used to provide support, this is best done at the local level," said small business minister Anna Soubry in a statement about the closures, a move reflected in extra funding for new 'growth hubs' run by England's Local Enterprise Partnerships, systems of collaboration between local public and private sector business support organisations.

The government is clearly tasking local areas and the private sector businesses that understand entrepreneurs the best with helping small businesses grow.

The closure of Growth Accelerator was a shock to many (including us) and is not without controversy as it has received much positive feedback, but as one of the private organisations determined to help small businesses grow, we are well up for this new challenge!

Our Regional Champions in 12 areas are just the start of our efforts to support entrepreneurs across the UK and we also announced this week that after running one overseas trade mission a year, we'll be running five in 2016 for ambitious small business owners who want to expand abroad.

Watch this space!

Away from what George Osborne got up to this week, we continued our build up to StartUp 2016, the biggest start-up show of the New Year with a fascinating interview with one of the speakers, Lara Morgan, who sold her business for £20m and retained 99% of ownership. You'll have a chance to meet Lara at the free event on 16 January in London. More than 1,600 people have already registered! Get your ticket here.

Two sets of interesting statistics came out this week. Firstly, a report showed that the UK is second only to China in terms of the growth in the number of start-ups over the past five years, and official government analysis of new companies created since 2009 showed that two fifths have survived for five years.

Also on the blog this week:

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