Cameron kicks off StartUp Britain

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Robert Lovell
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Prime Minister David Cameron has issued a clarion call to would-be entrepreneurs that "now is the time" to launch their business.

Speaking at the launch of the StartUp Britain initiative, Cameron warned against a return to the years of “big government spending, big borrowing and big debt”.

Instead he said Britain's economic recovery had to be private-sector led "with Made in Britain stamped all over it".

The StartUp Britain project follows last week's Budget that saw economic growth forecasts revised down to 1.7% and ministers looking to the private sector to stimulate the economy.

StartUp Britain forms part of a wider government programme aimed at harnessing this private sector growth that includes the introduction of

21 new enterprise zones

, tax reliefs for entrepreneurs and an extra 1% reduction in Corporation Tax, all announced at the Budget.

The StartUp Britain scheme is an independent collective of UK entrepreneurs and supported by 62 organisations - including O2, Virgin, Blackberry, Google, Experian, Barclays and AXA - offering discounted services and initiatives to the 270,000 companies that are started every year.

New businesses will be able to apply for help worth £1,500 in areas such as internet advertising and IT training, finance and mentoring support.

For live coverage of the launch of StartUp Britain visit out sister title



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28th Mar 2011 15:41

Mixed reactions from UK200 partners

We got an interesting press release through from UK200, presenting the views of three constituent firms. It looks like one is solidly in favour, but two are less convinced by the likely benefits:

James Abbott, partner, Baker Watkin:
“It is easy to be cynical but I think it can only be a positive step - the StartUp Britain concept is a good one. I will certainly see what benefits can be gained for my clients. This is a win-win situation for all sides and that for me means it has every chance of success. I only hope it is well publicised and the delivery meets the expectation.”

Will Abbott, partner, Randall & Payne:
“My concern is the focus on start-ups - how many of these will succeed and generate new jobs? New entrants who are being subsidised by HMG, through the PAYE holiday for example, may undercut prices and actually cause other businesses to reduce staff. When the subsidies are removed, what happens then?

“Perhaps we should be looking at existing businesses that have the potential to grow by 20% plus each year. These companies may be in a much better position to generate long-term employment, so why are they apparently being ignored in favour of high risk start-ups?”

Jonathan Russell, partner, ReesRussell:
“StartUp Britain is a great concept but the offers being made by companies are generally marketing offers, which have been available for some time and often better deals can be negotiated. Many involve initial discounts to encourage businesses to sign up for something, which may be inappropriate going forward or are not relevant for a business at start-up.

“The biggest barrier to new business is banking facilities and bureaucracy. In banking terms, we are not even talking necessarily about borrowings but simple things such as merchant services for internet retailer start-ups. 

“It is the sheer amount of time it now takes some businesses to get CRB checks and other registrations done, and therefore frequently have to take on employees in order to apply, that is an obstacle to them before they can even start trading.

“The latest changes to the Companies Act, which stops anyone under 18 being a director, means young entrepreneurs now have no mechanism of starting a business in their own right because they cannot get liability insurance. The latest announcement really just highlights the huge lack of understanding from the Government on the realities of setting up a new small business.”

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30th Mar 2011 12:06

Support US businesses

They started off under one of their 4 main top tips (get a logo) referring to a US design site; not the greatest idea in the context of their mission!

This has thankfully now been corrected, after much consternation from British businesses.

More details can be found here  

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By dstickl
30th Mar 2011 18:45

A quick change to IR35 secondary Legisaltion to support StartUp

Here's a good way to support StartUp Britain by a quick change to IR35 secondary Legisaltion:

A- As there was no change to the IR35 regime in the ’11 Budget for "growth" (contrary to the 20 May'10 announcement) may I suggest you alert the Chancellor (and PCG etc etc) to a potential change to the "Social Security Contributions (Intermediaries) Regulations 2000 SI 2000/727" Section 7 (1) Step One that reads:
7 Worker's attributable earnings—calculation
(1) For the purposes of regulation 6(3)(a) the amount of the worker's attributable earnings for a tax year is calculated as follows:
Step One
Find the total amount of all payments and benefits received by the intermediary in that year under the arrangements, and reduce that amount by 5 per cent

B- I suggest that the words "by 5 per cent" be replaced by:

"by a monetary amount that is the greater of either (1) £40,000 (forty thousand pounds) or (2) 15 (fifteen) per cent"

C- Reasons: (1) Need for economic growth to be stimulated in the private sector, eg by redundant public sector workers, with commercial certainty. (2) Some startup etc small business costs are fixed, i.e. independent of company revenue, and I have selected a "Highest Common Figure" reflecting (a) IPSA's costs for an MP's one person office in London, which is (b) justified for other UK locations because many small contractor businesses have to travel to London to work, network, for marketing, training, etc, etc.

D- More: I gather from evidence set before Parliament that the tax cost might be less than £1m pa, i.e. negligible!
And for civil servants [perhaps stimulated by self-interest, perish the thought!]: It may help newly redundant public sector workers seek new work, through releasing their entrepreneurial talent. 

If you can give this moderate proposal some more traction with your support, I'd appreciate it!

Brgds - Don Stickland, BA, MA, BA, ACMA

E: [email protected]

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