Enterprise news and opinion from Cobweb

Our editorial team regularly publishes topical news and opinion articles covering business know-how, entrepreneurship best practice, local enterprise support and national business support policy. Our independent observations and interpretation of facts stimulate some lively discussions among enterprise practitioners, business professionals and owner managers.

What micro-business owners don’t need

September 20th, 2013 | 14 comments Source: EnterQuest

It’s almost two years since the Coalition Government withdrew all central funding for face-to-face support for business start ups and the small/micro-business sector. Since then, the Coalition and the Department for Business (BIS) have made various attempts to put something else in place and have either backed or provided token levels of funding for several initiatives to compensate for the micro-business support vacuum…

Why Mentoring and the Department for Business are failing

March 28th, 2013 | 4 comments Source: EnterQuest

Contrary to continual claims by BIS that the biggest headaches and priorities faced by small business owners are red tape and access to finance, BIS’ own survey results provide a strong indication that problems with sourcing funding has not been an issue for 90% of business owners, and 98% had not sought information or advice relating to regulations.

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

January 10th, 2013 | 5 comments Source: EnterQuest

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…

Business support sector at full capacity and struggling to meet demand

November 19th, 2012 | 5 comments Source: BAD News

Business support and advice agencies are currently facing record levels of demand for their services at a time when restrictions in the availability of funding are seriously hindering their ability to maintain their levels of service. The findings come from a survey of business support and advice organisations carried out by BAD News publisher Cobweb […]

The past, present and future of business support

November 1st, 2012 | 7 comments Source: EnterQuest

A significant event occurred at the end of last month when the Business Link website was finally switched off and information covering compliance and other business guidance was transferred to the new gov.uk website. Other than the consequent criticism that has highlighted the deficiencies in what is now in its place, it is the departure […]

Businesses barely accessing online Government support

September 17th, 2012 | 10 comments Source: BAD News

Online Government support services such as Mentorsme.co.uk and Businesslink.gov.uk are still only being used by a tiny minority of small and medium-sized businesses, according to new Government research. The latest Business Barometer survey commissioned by the Department for Business (BIS) revealed that while awareness of the Government’s online support has increased slightly since the last […]

Businesslink.gov.uk website to be replaced in October

September 10th, 2012 | 9 comments Source: BAD News

A new ‘centralised’ Government website is to replace both Businesslink.gov.uk and Directgov.uk and will be launched on 4 October, according to a low-key announcement appearing in an obscure corner of the Home Office website. The www.gov.uk BETA site has been live since February this year, but this is the first known release date for the […]

BIS figures reveal poor take-up of support services

May 21st, 2012 | 4 comments Source: BAD News

Just 1% of small and medium-sized businesses have ever used the Mentorsme website, new figures from the Department for Business (BIS) show…

Return of the ‘one-stop shop’ for business support recommended

March 19th, 2012 | 9 comments Source: BAD News

The Government must clear up the “alphabet soup” of business support schemes and set up a single business support agency, according to a new report commissioned by the Department for Business (BIS)…

Firms say new business support provision is ‘inadequate’

February 6th, 2012 | 5 comments Source: BAD News

A new poll from the Forum of Private Business (FPB) reveals that only one in ten of its members believe that the new Business Link website will provide them with cost-effective support, while one in five believe it will not…