The following blog is from one of the many Serviced Office Coampanies that Easy Offices works with, this post concerns start up companies and the help and assistance that cna be provided.

Encouraging Entrepreneurship

One of the most common complaints from entrepreneurs is the difficulty securing finance. The good news is the government has introduced packages designed to encourage banks to lend to smaller firms, and to put money into entrepreneurs’ pockets. These programmes include the Funding for Lending scheme, the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, and the Start-up loan project. 

Announced last August by HM Treasury and the Bank of England, the Funding for Lending scheme, aims to give financial institutions an incentive to provide finance. In return for increasing loans to UK households and businesses, banks can borrow from the government at more attractive rates. This can have bottom-line benefits for SMEs – Natwest for example used the funding to make some business loans fee-free.

The Enterprise Finance Guarantee, the oldest government scheme out of the three, was launched in January 2009. The government underwrites 75% of loans, making them a less risky proposition for the banks. The scheme has provided a total value of £1.88 billion to over 18,000 small businesses (http://bit.ly/WYp9uf).

The start-up loan scheme differs from the previous two by aiming to put money directly into the pockets of businesspeople. Entrepreneurs aged 18 – 30 submit a business plan to a government-run agency, and if it is deemed good enough, they receive help and funding to get their business started. In total £110 million has been invested in the scheme so far.

It goes without saying that none of these schemes work perfectly. Lending via the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme has plummeted; money distributed via the Funding for Lending scheme fell throughout every quarter of 2012. However, anything which helps to improve access to finance for entrepreneurs can be viewed as a positive step, even if the individual projects could work better.

While we can’t provide cheap loans, Business Environment does provide a range of facilities for people taking their first step in company ownership.

Our new product Velocity Virtual provides customers with “virtual” office space designed to allow them to have the trappings of a large business at the cost of a small one. Features include a prestigious mailing address, call handling, data storage, and meeting room facilities. As a flexible package, Velocity Virtual allows customers to pick and choose which of these services they use.

Velocity Virtual won’t remove the need for finance, but it will take care of a lot of worries freeing up entrepreneurs to struggle with the banks and – hopefully – benefit from government schemes.

To find out more information on Velocity Virtual, visit www.velocityvirtual.com.

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