Campaign aims for 600,000 new firms

Start-up Britain bus tour makes final stops in Scotland

Carol SmillieAn independent national campaign to promote entrepreneurship will be bringing its campaign to Scotland this week with support from the Prime Minister.

A Routemaster bus full of start-­up experts and champions will be on board to provide inspiration and support to those keen to set up and build their own enterprises.

Founded by eight entrepreneurs and launched in March 2011 by David Cameron, StartUp Britain is completely private sector funded. It was launched in response to the government’s call for an “enterprise led” recovery.

The bus tour was launched at Downing Street last month by Mr Cameron along with Business Secretary Sajid Javid, Minister for Small Business Anna Soubry, television personality and businesswoman Carol Smillie and the head of Entrepreneurial Spark Jim Duffy.

Since the campaign launched, startup rates have increased from 440,600 in 2011 to a record-­breaking 581,173 in 2014.  The campaign aims to hit 600,000 this year.

Notable initiatives from StartUp Britain include three bus tours of Britain, engaging more than 17,500 aspiring entrepreneurs in 60 towns and cities; popup shops; and PitchUp schemes through which entrepreneurs pitched their products to Britain’s largest high street stores.

The tour of Britain completes its journey with five stops in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh on Monday, Buchanan Street, Glasgow on Tuesday, City Square in Dundee on Wednesday, St Nicholas Street in Aberdeen on Thursday and Inverness Business & Retail Park on Friday.

Government­-backed Start Up Loans Company and Upwork ­ the world leader in online work ­ are also supporters. On board, the sponsors will be giving one­to­one advice and workshops to aspiring and early­stage entrepreneurs, while local business support organisations will provide mentoring and local guidance.

The tour’s national partners include the Federation of Small Businesses, the British Chambers of Commerce and UKTI, which recently launched the First Time Exporters Initiative to provide advice and support to help companies expand into international markets.


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