Jump to MenuJump to Main ContentJump to the SidebarJump to About A&T Business AssociatesJump to How A&T Business Associates are DifferentJump to How A&T Business Associates WorkJump to Our LinksJump to our Industry NewsJump to Legal InformationJump to Viewing OptionsJump to SearchJump to Site MapJump to Contact Page

Brains of Britain: business mentor scheme boost

Navigating a small business through the choppy waters of the current economic climate takes a firm hand and plenty of expertise. Thankfully, SMEs are benefiting from a wealth of mentoring schemes aimed at helping them stay afloat and on course. The UK business sector can give itself a pat on the back, but still must plot its course carefully.
Goldman Sachs’ little-known mentoring programme for small business owners, offering advice and networking, was flagged up here a few weeks ago, and it is one of a rising number of such schemes. IC tomorrow, a Technology Strategy Board programme to help internet start-ups, has announced expansion plans and the launch of a competition whose prize is £100,000 funding. Russam GMS, an interim management provider, has launched a fee-based mentoring service for small businesses.
Aimed at potential entrepreneurs a few steps back down the ladder, the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme is also gaining momentum. The government-backed NEA aims to support the creation of 40,000 new businesses with mentoring, set-up allowances and low-cost loans.
Is this the Big Society at work? Well, yes and no. Some of these mentoring schemes are available free of charge and some come at a cost, and the big brands connected to initiatives obviously benefit from the exposure. Indeed, this is where caution is required. StartUp Britain has continued to draw flak: while criticism of Staples’ offer of facilities still seems harsh, the direct promotion of non-UK firms on the website appears ill judged for a service aimed at driving British small business growth.
All in all, the wealth of business knowledge being made available has to be a good thing for SMEs, in particular regarding finance. Managing small business finance is a crucial skill and greater awareness of alternative commercial finance services, such as invoice discounting and factoring, can only be positive.
To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact us on 01903 602211 or info@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

Return to the News Page