Vince Cable recently announced a variety of additional support mechanisms for small business – new funding for loans and additional mentoring and support services.
There is a new website – Business is Great Britain – which aims to provide information and resources to UK businesses to plan, export, lead and nurture their development.
The web pages also contain useful links to funding sources, business grants etc., to help that growth.
The new British Business Bank has allocated its first £45 million pound tranche of funds, the deployment of which should begin in early 2014. The money is being placed with finance intermediaries to explicitly be invested in the support of SME’s.
In the ministerial announcement was an indication that the funds may be invested in ‘…businesses that offer non-traditional channels of lending that may not be regulated by the Financial Services Authority or the Office of Fair Trading’. Is this an oblique reference to the Social Business market?
You can read the full ministerial announcement here.
The Sector Mentoring Challenge Fund aims to encourage employers, trade bodies and others to work together and deliver tailored mentoring solutions that address real business needs in their sector.
This is a one off funding tranche, competitively aspiring to fund innovative mentoring and support for business sectors. The Fund is specifically looking for proposals that can become self funding examples of sector support.
You can find application details for the 11th December deadline here…
Any help for the SME sector is useful in the current economic climate, although the acid test will be how conservative in approach these new intermediary funds turn out to be. More support, or more of the same, only time will tell?