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23 January 2012
Business leaders have welcomed a new initiative from the Prime Minister aimed at inspiring people to start or grow their own businesses.
Government and the private sector will work together "to make sure that small firms and budding entrepreneurs know what support is available to them and to expand the offer, with some of the campaign partners providing free services including workshops, web-based seminars and video tutorials on issues like finance as well as providing mentoring and access to face to face consultancy sessions".
Addressing a group of entrepreneurs in Leeds today at the launch of the new initiative, David Cameron said:
"Early this month, I said that 2012 has got to be the year we go for it, the year we light new fires of ambition in our economy, the year we get behind Britain's grafters, doers, hard-workers and entrepreneurs. This isn't something we'd quite like to do – it's something we've got to do because enterprise is critical to this country's future. Enterprise is what we do in Britain, this is the year that – more than ever – we've got to go for it."
The Prime Minister announced plans to make empty and under-used government offices available to small businesses so that they can start up and grow. With over 300 buildings currently in the central government estate with vacant space available in England, the government will offer as much of this space as possible to small businesses, giving them space to grow at a low cost.
"So let's match the capacity we've got with the need that's out there. Let's provide office space where we can to those who can use it," Mr Cameron said.
Forum of Private Business chief executive Phil Orford welcomed the PM's announcement.
"Start up businesses need all the help they can muster in order to grow and flourish, particularly in the current climate," he said.
"It's excellent to see the government rolling its sleeves up and getting stuck in to the issue.
"We all know that for the UK economy to move forward and lift the country out of the doldrums there needs to be serious growth in the private sector.
"This is essential for the economy to rebalance itself with an emphasis on SMEs leading the charge forward. Britain has a rich history of entrepreneurship and we need to encourage more of that for that charge to see positive results."