News and blog

Cobweb publishes occasional opinion articles and papers which review, question and challenge different topics relating to business start up and micro-enterprise, business support policy and entrepreneurship best practice.

Practitioners, policymakers and business owners are welcome to comment and share their own views or experiences.

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Report: Start-up support via LEPs and Growth Hubs

August 18th, 2016 / 5 comments

In 2010, the UK business support sector was subject to a complete overhaul when the Coalition Government announced the closure of the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and the Business Link local advisory services. The RDAs were replaced by more locally accountable and business-driven bodies in the form of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). But six years on, how is LEP-oriented business support for start ups and small traders fairing in 2016?

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What support do micro-business owners need in 2014 and beyond?

January 10th, 2014 / 6 comments

Towards the end of 2013 and early in the New Year, there has been a considerable amount of official activity, reports and PR surrounding publicly-funded business support, access to finance for start ups and smaller firms, and an imminent new platform for small firms to access advice from business experts…

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A milestone, a cow's backside and the business support banjo

January 10th, 2013 / 5 comments

This week, EnterQuest reached a significant milestone with this being the 500th issue of the bulletin since it was launched back in 2003. One consistent subject upon which we have steadfastly held our ground is that, despite what is widely claimed elsewhere, starting up and running a business is far from easy – in fact, it can be eminently difficult and merciless – something that most people are not cut out for…

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2013 – the year of the back-street business

December 19th, 2012 / 5 comments

Every year the final couple of weeks before Christmas brings the usual round of forecasts and predictions offering a mixture of interesting professional foresight from those who seem to know what they’re talking about, along with the typical self-promotions from the self-obsessed. Here are EnterQuest’s devilishly accurate predictions for what COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN next year…

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Business support sector at full capacity and struggling to meet demand

November 19th, 2012 / 5 comments

Business support and advice agencies are currently facing record levels of demand for their services at a time when restrictions […]

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Report says lack of finance not an issue for small firms

July 9th, 2012 / 2 comments

Lack of demand and the current economic climate is the number one problem facing 40% of firms, according to a new report from the Open University (OU)…

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The current state of business support: has BIS got it right or wrong?

October 3rd, 2011 / 5 comments

New research has been released by the Department for Business (BIS) into the way that businesses use formal external support. The […]

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Where to find good business advice and support

March 18th, 2011 / 8 comments

Since the coalition Government announced its decision to cut back funding for face-to-face business advice it has been very difficult […]

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Business advice you will be wise to ignore

August 12th, 2010 / 6 comments

Once you start your own business, there are plenty of people who are willing to give you the benefit of […]