The Government is set to launch a £30m mentoring programme for small firms to seek advice on how to grow their business.
The Government has agreed to introduce a number of recommendations put forward by the prime minister’s enterprise adviser Lord David Young in a report, Growing Your Business, published today.
Young recommends a £30m growth voucher scheme where firms would be given vouchers that could then be used to seek specialist help on expanding their workforce, marketing the business, financial management and growing online.
The report argues businesses that take external advice at key stages grow faster but few are doing it so the Government has agreed to spend £30m trialling a number of schemes over the next two years.
Former cabinet minister Lord Young also suggests expanding the Government’s start-up loan scheme to people of all ages.
Currently only people under 30 can access Government start-up loans, averaging £4,500, for business ideas to get off the ground. Since its launch last autumn, it has approved 3,768 loans worth around £16m.
The report also argues for 5 per cent of the Government’s budget for business schemes, such as enterprise investment schemes, to be spent on marketing.
Lord Young says: “Growing our smallest businesses would transform our economy – they are the vital 95 per cent. If just half of the UK’s micro businesses took on an additional member of staff, unemployment would be reduced to almost zero. We need to raise the aspirations and confidence of these businesses and give them the tools to grow.”
Business minister Michael Fallon says: “We are supporting ambitious small firms to grow, create jobs and achieve their goals. Whether that is by providing access to mentoring and advice, cutting red tape or through successful schemes like start-up Loans.
“But we are determined to go further and faster: Lord Young’s important report sets out a series of practical steps that can make a real difference to entrepreneurs across the country.”