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Research reveals government invested £9.8 billion supporting businesses in 2013-14

16th February, 2016 No Comments


A view of the iconic clock tower of the Houses odf Parliament in London.

According to recent research at the Innovation Growth Lab, the British government spent £9.8 billion in 2013-14 supporting its businesses.

The research was undertaken by Teo Firpo and Thomas Beevers following the announced cuts in business support services as part of the Autumn Spending Review, November 2015 – with the BIS (the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) seeing a 17% reduction in their budget.

The research set out to discover how the cuts might affect businesses and innovation in the UK, and crucially, to consider how the government should target the cuts.

Teo and Thomas considered it critical to know how the British government supports its businesses and entrepreneurs, not just through BIS, but across all departments, in order to reach any answers to these questions so the IGL research maps out how much public money goes to businesses and, importantly, through what type of support programmes. The research discovered that business support takes place across government departments identifying six other public bodies with business support programmes, including the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Department for Communities and Local Government, beside tax relief and BIS.

‘How much does the UK spend supporting its businesses?’ can be read in full here.

Summarised by Davina Young @ Cavendish

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Business plan flow chart

Despite the Chancellor’s announcement to abolish the Business Growth Service, its not all doom and gloom for start-up businesses in England.  There are alternative initiatives and schemes available across the country which should enable businesses to access the same levels of support.

Chancellor George Osbourne’s announcement of a 17% spending cut for the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills will come as quite a blow to businesses who were forward planning their business strategies expecting to receive support under the Business Growth Service.  Many businesses across England are now in the position of having to re-assess their position and look for other options to help them reach their goals.

More and more businesses are coming to appreciate the value of business advice and strategic support.  The BIS Small Business Survey 2014: SME employers looked at business support services and determined that:

44% of SME employers had sought external information or advice in the 12 months prior to the survey.

In England and Wales, 22%of SME employers had sought strategic advice, and 26% sought information. The most common reason for seeking advice in England and Wales was for business growth.

Around half of those requiring advice or information in England had paid for at least some of it.

12% of SME employers had used a business mentor in the previous 12 months.

The Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills continues to support other schemes not affected by the cuts announced this week.  Through the Regional Growth Fund Round 6, announced in February 2015, Cavendish Enterprise is delivering the Start & Grow programme to start-up businesses with a high growth potential.

In the light of cuts we need to promote and highlight the support that is remaining and make sure that it is optimised by those that need it in the SME category.

Start & Grow can provide access to funding for start-up businesses, and as they go on to grow and expand, through other business support schemes such as StartUp Loans, Virgin StartUp and regional government and privately funded grants and loan services.

There is a fee of £100 (+VAT) to join the scheme – the return on the investment amounts to a support package over 3 years from start up with an estimated commercial value of around £5,000.  Start-up businesses can expect to receive advice, and training in key areas to support them through the start-up stages, employment, and expansion.

There is also the promise of £12m per year from the government over 16/17 and 17/18 to be allocated across the Growth Hub network.

Cavendish is a partnership of enterprise support organisations and provides a comprehensive range of initiatives to support small businesses including business support, business growth, coaching and mentoring, financial signposting – funding, grants and loans, exporting, property signposting (incubation, offices and facilities), and training and development.

Carole White. Chief Executive of TEDCO (a Cavendish Enterprise partner delivering services in the North East) says:  “It pays dividends to talk to other people who have gone through a similar experience. The UK is full of incredible business people who really do want to help you. In addition there is an excellent range of business support available to help you with accessing finance, finding routes to market and making the right connections, putting together a business plan, and knowing who to turn to when things are difficult.”

 

Written by Davina Young

What are your views on the Chancellor’s cuts?  Leave a comment below.

 

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