The past variability of the quality business support in the UK has been written about widely and many saw the eventual reduction of it, primarily the winding down of BusinessLink as an opportunity for the private sector to take up the slack and do something different.
So I was intrigued when I read about the Startup Britain which was started by a group of eight private individuals who have all seen success in starting up new businesses (Jamie Murray Wells of Glasses Direct fame perhaps more successful than most) with a motive to stimulate startup activity in the UK, create more jobs and generally put some life back into the economy.
I was so taken with the idea that I offered my services as the Startup Local Champion for Cambridge and recently attended a startup meeting of similar champions from towns and cities across the UK. The initiative is enthusiastically sponsored by an interested group of companies that include Dell, Intuit (Quickbooks), AXA, Paypal and X.Commerce (part of eBay) and the whole initiative is run on a very healthy commercial basis.
So is this the future for startup support? The organisers themselves were realistic enough to say that this alone won’t change everything but the basis looks solid and the enthusiasm high so it may be a sign that if businesses themselves take it seriously it might just happen.