A pioneering new start-up programme has launched across the UK, following a £75m investment from Barclays and the Regional Growth Fund.
The Ready for Business programme, run by the National Enterprise Network (NEN), is expected to create 6,000 new businesses and will particularly focus on helping displaced public sector workers start-up.
The latest £60m cash injection from Barclays follows a £15m investment from the Regional Growth Fund to get the scheme off the ground.
It will fund a package of start-up support, which will begin with a free, introductory ‘Barclays Get Ready for Business’ seminar from The Cavendish Consortium – followed by a detailed business plan assessment, one-to-one advice, ongoing mentoring and guidance.
More than 4,000 fledgling entrepreneurs will also receive offers of finance, while up to 24,000 people will have the opportunity to attend the seminars.
Six enterprise agencies are helping to roll out the programme across the country: BBV in the north west, Business West in the south west, Enterprise First in the south east, NVV in the East Midlands, NWES in the east and TEDCO in the north east.
Business and enterprise minister Mark Prisk said of the scheme: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, and we want to encourage more people to discover their entrepreneurial spirit and start a business.
“It’s important we make available to businesses the tools they need to succeed. Whether this is details about finance opportunities, or partnering them with a mentor who can share first-hand experiences, we can help them to thrive and grow with the type of targeted support Ready for Business can offer.”
For more information on Ready for Business or to register for an event, visit