The UK Government is arguably one of the best when it comes to offering supports and incentives to young entrepreneurs.
The Government has been trying to encourage young entrepreneurs in various ways; it offers financial support through loans and grants. The Government also offers training as well as tax reliefs.
In addition, the Government has proposed setting up a national investment fund to help fledgling UK businesses thrive and compete with their US counterparts.
This proposal aims to support UK startups after Brexit with the hope that the new fund would help cutting-edge British startups become world-leading unicorns.
SEE ALSO: Is Entrepreneurship Really For You?
However, some critics still believe that UK Government is not doing enough to support technology startups and young entrepreneurs. The Government was recently lambasted for lack of support for start-ups that attended the 2017 CES tech show. The event’s organiser, Gary Shapiro, compared the country unfavourably with France, the Netherlands, and Israel.
How UK Government Supports Young Entrepreneurs
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For young entrepreneurs planning to start a new tech startup or growing an existing business, UK is one of the best destinations to start and grow your business.
The Government offers various supports and helps to grow digital businesses in the country. But how does the Government support technology startups?
Is it true that the country is not doing enough for young entrepreneurs? What does the Government actually do to support startups and small businesses?
How can young entrepreneurs get government backing for their new startups? Below are some of the best ways the UK Government supports young entrepreneurs and tech startup:
#1]. Funding and business finance
Funding is the most important aspect of the business no matter how small or big. Every startup requires fund and there are many ways to raise fund for a startup. You can either fund the startup through friends and family members or from your personal savings.
Also, you can get funding from your bank, and you can use crowdfunding websites to help you secure fund for your startup. However, the Government also offers financial support to help entrepreneurs grow their business.
UK Government’s powered Start Up Loans Scheme helps entrepreneurs to start or grow their business by offering mentoring and support services. It also offers up to £25,000 startup loans at a fixed interest rate of 6 percent per annum for new business ideas.
This government-backed scheme is a great alternative for individuals looking for business loans to fund their startup or grow your own business.
Additionally, Innovate UK, formerly known as the Technology Strategy Board, also offers funding competitions for businesses and research organisations, especially for anyone working on emerging technologies; health and life sciences; infrastructure systems; and manufacturing and materials.
#2]. Business mentoring
Business mentoring is one of the most valuable activities for entrepreneurs. This is why some people believe that money is not everything in entrepreneurship. For small business owners, there are times when things won’t just work accordingly, but there is a wealth of valuable knowledge out there if you know where to look.
The fact is that running a business can be a lonely task for entrepreneurs, but an experienced business mentor can motivate and help you thrive. This is why entrepreneurs should consider to take time out and request for advice from those that can help.
A lot of business mentoring portals and organisations are out there to help entrepreneurs grow and improve their businesses. Government-funded bodies like Tech City UK delivers programmes that focus on accelerating the growth of digital businesses across the UK.
Additionally, Future Fifty is a scheme powered by Tech City UK to offer select startups access to expertise within both the Government and across the private sector, and such startups as Just Eat, Shazam and Skyscanner have benefited.
Tech City UK also runs Digital Business Academy, that gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain key business skills they need for a digital world for free. Also, UK Business Mentoring conducts business reviews, training, planning and coaching. It offers services in Surrey, London and across the UK; helping businesses achieve their full potential.
#3]. General support
The Government also offers general supports and resources to entrepreneurs in so many ways. For instance, the Business is Great is a Government website that offers support, advice and inspiration for growing your business.
It provides essential support that includes valuable information such as tax advice and intellectual property protection. Similarly, Tech London is a guide to the startup community that offers a great resource hub for entrepreneurs planning to launch a startup in London.
It provides all sort of resources such as workspaces and business events to attend. It also offers mentorship programmes, job boards, and startup funding resources.
#4]. Broadband and internet access
The Government also offers support to entrepreneurs via its Superfast Broadband connection voucher scheme. Operated in 50 UK cities, the connection voucher scheme is a Government scheme that enables small and medium-sized businesses to claim up to £3,000 to cover the cost of connecting or upgrading to superfast broadband.
Though the scheme has now closed to new applicants, about twelve thousand businesses received a voucher in London alone. This gave the businesses access to an affordable superfast broadband connection.
The scheme, which operated with a national challenge fund of £40m, issued vouchers on a first-come-first-served basis. After successful installation, businesses with approved applications accessed their account to complete the voucher redemption process.
The Government still offers a subsidised broadband installation for businesses in areas where their speeds are below 2MB per second. This means you can only apply for this if you cannot access an affordable broadband service with a speed of at least 2 Mb per second.
#5]. Tech Nation visa scheme
Tech Nation visa scheme is Tier 1 exceptional talent visa for digital technology that makes it possible for tech talent from around the world to come and work in the UK’s digital technology sector.
Through this visa scheme, the Government relaxed rules on visas for up to 200 exceptional technology talents per year. Tech City UK has the ability to endorse applications for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa.
If you receive an endorsement from Tech City UK, then you will be eligible to be to submit your Visa application to the Home Office. This is part of Tech City UK’s mission to ensure that the UK continues to maintain its position as a globally competitive digital economy.
Also, the Government offers entrepreneur visas for startup founders. However, the business must have high growth potential and has been funded by at least £50,000 from an approved organisation.