StartUp Britain

StartUp Britain has got off to a bit of a bad start.  And it’s understandable.

It probably wouldn’t have registered on anyone’s radar.  However, as it was launched with the promotional (not financial) backing of the government, it got more attention than it perhaps deserved.

StartUp Britain is pretty much a link farm at the moment, oh, with the addition of discounts from companies where you’ll probably have to spend more than you can afford to make use of them.  It leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth.

There is a lot of talk of what it *will* be.  There’s nothing I hate more than the promise of what will be.  Too many people talk of what their fabulous project/business will be.  I’m not fussed. I’ll only be interested when something is there.  In the meantime, please don’t waste my time with hype.  Just do it.  Prove your existence, your usefulness, your success.  Don’t shout about how great this and that is before you have even gotten there.  Please.

I don’t want to have a dig at StartUp Britain.  I don’t think they are the problem. At least it may be a step in the right direction. I just think it highlights a general issue with the state of Britain, enterprise and the economy…

When the government isn’t talking about cuts, they talk about how we should be building and supporting the private sector.  Encouraging entrepreneurs and being enterprising.  Yet I can’t see what they are doing about it apart from supporting (non-financially) the concept of StartUp Britain and trying to get banks to lend more money.

I don’t know about other companies.  I’d love to get extra support for my business, but StartUp Britain and a bank loan certainly isn’t what I’m looking for.

I previously had a grant from Train To Gain, which was probably the most useful support I’ve had.  The paperwork to qualify was fairly low. I used it for some business mentoring with Julia Chanteray which proved invaluable.  I certainly wouldn’t have paid for it myself at the time, nor gotten a loan.

I admit, I haven’t gone and done a detailed search to see what kind of support is available.  I do generally keep my eye out on these types of things, but haven’t come across anything recently.  What is the government doing to help businesses?

The BusinessLink website says:

The Government has also set out a series of measures to help support and grow business startups. These include:

  • Working with the Peter Jones Foundation to make Tenner Tycoon grow tenfold, leading to 250,000 young people across primary, secondary and further education being loaned ten pounds to experience running a business.
  • Support for every school to run its own business through the Enterprise Champions Programme.
  • The creation of enterprise societies in every University and most Further Education Colleges to develop students with the ambition and skills for enterprise.
  • A new online tool enabling small businesses to pitch their ideas on how they could do the business of government more cheaply or more efficiently.

Is this really all the government is doing to support an enterprising Britain?  Shameful if it is.  Please pleasantly surprise me if it isn’t.

The reaction from the community shows people feel strongly about this.  And would they be so negative if there was sufficient support in place?  JFDIBritain put across their view.  CockupBritain was a good laugh.  But we aren’t really progressing any further, are we?