The government launched the StartUp Britain initiative today, with support from leading tech firms including Google. The scheme will see UK entrepreneurs receive a package worth £1,500 to get their fledgling business off the ground. This includes free or discounted services from 60 leading private firms, including Virgin, Intel, AXA, Barclays and Fujitsu.
Google and Bing are offering £30 each for PPC marketing on their respective search engines. Companies can get a month of free line rental from O2, and an e-commerce package from PayPal; meanwhile, several firms are offering mentoring and access to business advice. Entrepreneurs can look the part too thanks to discounts on tailored suits, glasses, and business cards.
"Now is the time"
In the 2011 budget last week, the technology sector was promised substantial investment and an innovation centre. However, with StartUp Britain members of the public are being encouraged to go it alone. PM David Cameron urged:
"If you've been turning over a good idea for years - now is the time to make something of it. If you're working for a big firm but know you could do a better job on your own - now is the time to make the leap. If you're dreaming about starting up the next great British brand - now is the time to make it happen."
The budget announcement also saw the introduction of tax breaks for entrepreneurs, while the Chancellor promised less red tape and a push on high-speed broadband.