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Business News 2003
Business News->Boosting Ethnic Start-ups

Government unveils new proposals to boost ethnic start-ups
(May 2002)

Government to boost ethnic start-ups.Women, ethnic minorities and disadvantaged areas targeted for new start-ups. The new drive to boost the enterprise culture, encourage more people to set up their own business and reduce the barriers facing start-up firms was announced today by Minister for Small Business Nigel Griffiths.

The proposed package of measures includes:

  • a 'starter pack' for all prospective entrepreneurs making it easier to understand what assistance they can get and what they need to do when setting up in business;
  • boosting business success by increasing the numbers seeking advice and improving the standards of business advisors - research shows that those firms taking advice are 20 per cent more likely to survive than those that don't;
  • setting up a National Policy Forum for Start-Ups to improve coherence of delivery, ensure services meet customer needs, and review existing initiatives;
  • improving electronic access to information; and
  • encouraging more entrepreneurs to act as role models.

Nigel Griffiths said: "We want to make Britain the best place in the world to start up in business.

"We're determined to create a culture of enterprise where entrepreneurs from all walks of life are given the skills and confidence to put their ideas into practice.

"The UK is already one of the easiest places to set up in business. But finding information or sources of help and advice and complying with regulations can often seem complex. A starter pack will make things less complicated.

"We're also keen to increase the take-up of business advice, as it can make it can make a big difference to success or failure. We're going to drive up the quality and relevance of advice to make more businesses consider using it, and the National Policy Forum will help us achieve this."

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2001 estimates that in the UK just under eight per cent of working age people are actively involved in running a business - compared to 12 per cent in the United States.

The strategy sets out to encourage more start-ups from under-represented groups. For example, GEM 2001 found that men are over two and a half times more likely to be entrepreneurs than women, while a lower proportion of both the Asian and black community are in business (16 per cent and 12 per cent respectively) than the white community (18 per cent).

Nigel Griffiths added, "encouraging start-ups from under-represented groups will open up whole new untapped areas of potential.

"Utilising the skills of people who traditionally haven't started up their own enterprise will create a more dynamic small business sector."

Commenting on the Government's proposals, Stephen Alambritis of the Federation of Small Businesses said, "we're delighted that the Government is putting such a strong focus on encouraging enterprise.
The small firms of today are the economic drivers of tomorrow."

"Supporting start-ups and fledgling enterprises is crucial as a new business is most at risk of failing within its first three years of operating. This strategy will go a long way to minimising failure and maximising success."

Other recent measures to boost the enterprise culture include:

  • The Insolvency Act 2000 which allows financially troubled companies the opportunity of a short respite from creditor action while a rescue plan is put together;
  • The Enterprise Bill currently going through Parliament which includes proposals to give entrepreneurs another chance in situations where they fail through no fault of their own and abolishing Crown preference;
  • Regional Venture Capital Funds created to stimulate more finance for small businesses and address market weaknesses in the provision of that finance.

Further information can be found on the Small Business Service website, click here.

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