The membership body for the enterprise support sector in England recorded 80,618 requests from the organisations it represents like Business Enterprise Support in the West Midlands and East London Small Business Centre.
Dawn Whiteley, the organisation’s chief executive, warns that “exceptional” demand for its members’ services is putting significant pressure on these 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.”
The survey shows an additional 47,664 established small businesses were also supported in the 2013-2014 period, a slightly higher level than the previous year.
Whiteley added that the government needs to look outside of schemes which target specific sectors to ensure the full range of businesses receive the support they need: “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 than many opportunities are being lost as those new businesses with some potential remain in many cases hidden from view!”
The figures were collated from NEN’s members, which provide independent and impartial advice, training and mentoring to new and established businesses, and are predominantly not-for-profit organisations.
NEN members include enterprise agencies, Chambers of Commerce, local authorities and other specialist providers, and a directory can be found on the organisation’s website.
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