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Women, ethnic minorities and disadvantaged areas targeted for new start-ups ...
Women, ethnic minorities and disadvantaged areas targeted for new start-ups

A new drive to boost the enterprise culture, encourage more people to

set up their own business and reduce the barriers facing start-up

firms has been announced by minister for small business Nigel


Mr Griffiths unveiled proposals for a new package of measures to

support first-time entrepreneurs and growing businesses -

particularly those from under-represented groups, such as women,

ethnic minorities and disadvantaged parts of the country.

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


'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


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.'


1. The proposed measures of support form the basis of the

consultation document A Comprehensive Strategy for Start-Ups.

The document is available from the DTI Publications Orderline

(telephone 0870 1502 500; fax 0870 1502 333 or email When ordering quote URN 02/950).

The document is also available online .

The consultation closes on 31 July 2002.

2. The consultation document complements Think Small First:

Supporting Smaller Businesses in the UK - A Challenge for

Government which set out the government's ambition to make the UK

the best place to start up and grow a business by 2005.

3. The Small Business Service (SBS) was launched in April 2000 to

provide a single organisation in government dedicated to helping

small firms and representing them within government. Its mission is

to build an enterprise society in which small firms of all kinds

thrive and achieve their potential.

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.

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