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'Exceptional' take-up of support and advice from start-ups

The number of new start-ups that sought support and advice rose by 58 per cent during the last financial year, according to new figures released by the National Enterprise Network (NEN).

The NEN is the membership body for the enterprise support sector across England and recorded 80,618 requests from organisations it represents such as Business Enterprise Support in the West Midlands and East London Small Business Centre.

The figures were gathered via NEN’s members; each of whom offer independent and impartial advice, mentoring and support for entrepreneurs and established start-ups.

Dawn Whiteley, chief executive of the NEN, has revealed that the “exceptional” desire for advice and support from its members is placing growing pressure on their members’ organisations.

“We know that our collective membership are subsidising their start-up services by 45 per cent – this isn’t sustainable in the longer term and might impact on the extent to which these services can continue to be provided,” said Whiteley.

The Network’s latest survey reveals an extra 47,664 established small firms were also supported during the 2013-14 financial year, a figure that’s slightly up on the previous 12 months.

Ms Whiteley insists the Government must look beyond the schemes that target specific sectors and make sure all types of businesses are catered for with the right level of backing.

“Government have a clear priority about supporting growth and job creation and are actively funding a variety of activities which respond to that, but we are of the view that ignoring generic start-ups means that many opportunities are being lost as those new businesses with some potential remain in many cases hidden from view!” added Whiteley.

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