Summary of Department of Business Innovation and Skills announcement on the future of support for business and start ups:

A national website and a national contact centre:

This will be an improved website providing access to information and guidance round the clock which will also sign post business towards further help.  A contact centre will be available for those who cannot access the web and who need further help and information;

Business Coaching for Growth:

Designed to accelerate business growth.  A highly connected network to fast-track businesses with growth potential to achieve transformational levels of growth by providing access to targeted face to face advice, coaching and mentoring at key stages of business growth, including introducing new products, services or processes, entering new markets, improving skills and external finance.  This reflects what business groups have argued is priority for business improvement;

A national mentoring network:

Helping to bring together existing networks of mentors in the voluntary and private sectors and encouraging more businesses to volunteer to mentor other businesses.  Government action on business mentoring will focus on raising awareness of the benefits of mentoring, improving accessibility for mentors and mentees, providing guidance on quality standards and investing to address short-term capability building.

A streamlined Solutions for Business support portfolio targeted at activities where a Government lead is required, for example on supporting complex trade deals and challenging technology developments.

The New Enterprise Allowance Scheme will, in designated areas, give an unemployed person entering self-employment the support they need to start a successful business.  This will include a transitional allowance for up to six months (equivalent to Job Seekers Allowance for the first 3 months and 50% of this level for a further 3 months) access to a mento and where someone needs captial to start up, to loan finance of up to £1,000.

Local Enterprise partnerships - Government is offering local areas the opportunity to take control of their future economic development.  Local enterprise partnerships are locally-owned partnerships between local authorities and businesses.  Local enterprise partnerships will play a central role in determining local economic priorites and undertaking activities to drive economic growth and the creation of local jobs.  They are also a key vehicle in delivering Government objectives for economic growth and decentralisation, whilst also providing a means for local authorities to work together with business in order to quicken the economic recovery.

As local enterprise partnerships are based on more meaningful economic areas, they will be better placed to determine the needs of the local economy along with a greater ability to identify barriers to local economic growth.