Quality Assured Member
Organisations as above, who also carry a recognised quality standard (currently ISO, Customer First or Matrix).
For not-for-profit independent organisations that provide independent advice, training or mentoring to new and emerging businesses.
For other organisations actively involved in the support and development of enterprise in England.
NEN offers us opportunities that we cannot get elsewhere, and this enables us to offer enhanced support to our clients. It’s great to be part of a network that offers so much and to see how us and other enterprise agencies are making such an impact is fantastic.
Portobello Business Centre has been a member of the NEN since the start – we’ve always found strength and support from the membership whenever we’ve asked for it.
Without NEN we would really feel alone. NEN makes us feel part of something much wider than just us in Scarborough. It links us with other organisations with the same ethos and goals, but ones that also face the same challenges. Together we are stronger.
NEN provides a great platform for networking and sharing experiences with other enterprise agencies and business support providers. It also helps in raising the business support sector’s profile and position with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and senior government decision makers – all of which helps us to continue to help start-ups and small businesses.
Being a member of NEN not only validates our work in building and fostering enterprise, but connects us with likeminded organisations where we can collaborate and influence the sector.
The strategic added value of being a NEN member and supporter is significantly important to Menta for three reasons. Firstly, it enables us to be nationally recognised. Secondly, it gives us the BEIS accreditation and quality standard. And thirdly, it gives us the opportunity to work with like-minded CEOs from across the country to share ideas and best practice.
AES has been a member of NEN for a number of years and we really feel like it is one big family. If we have a problem or an issue we can rely on the support of NEN to help us out. The NEN team work really hard to make sure our sector is recognised by government and other organisations that influence policy on business support.
At first, we weren’t convinced that we would get good value for money from being NEN Associates but we have been proved wrong. We have built some great relationships with other members and last years conference, and CEO round table, were worth the membership fee alone.
Carol joined National Enterprise Network in June 2012 having previously worked for a national charity for over 13 years in a similar role. She is responsible for the day to day running of the head office in Milton Keynes, line management of the Administrator as well as contract management of the Start & Grow RGF 6 contract for the West Midlands and Yorkshire & Humber regions. Carol also undertakes the role of Company Secretary which includes all governance administration and attendance at Finance and Board meetings. She is a mum to three children and in her spare time enjoys keeping fit and socialising.
Alex Till is focussed on driving forward the growth of new, emerging and existing businesses in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. He joined MENTA as CEO in 2011, having previously worked at Suffolk County Council in senior roles connected with the economic development of Suffolk, as well as posts at Business Link Suffolk, Suffolk Acre and the Suffolk Development Agency. Through his role at MENTA, Alex helps raise the profile of the significant work MENTA provides supporting people in skills, enterprise and employability.
An experienced administrator, Gemma joined NEN towards the end of 2015, as our Office/Finance Assistant. Gemma has a busy role, dealing with everything from our day-to-day administration and keeping our CRM up to date, to invoicing and membership renewals. Gemma is often the first point-of-contact for telephone and email enquiries. Away from work, Gemma is kept busy by her young son and enjoys reading in what free time is left for her.
Phil is the joint founder and director of Enterprise Exchange, a specialist agency which provides self -employment training and support for people with additional barriers. For the past 10 years, they have been working with prisons, in welfare to work, and running management development/CSR programs for the corporate sector. A specialist in prison entrepreneurship, Phil appeared in the 2019 ITV documentary “Ross Kemp, Welcome to HMP Belmarsh”. An experienced and accredited business adviser, Phil has a background in both the private and public sector, specialising in pre-start up business advice for people with additional barriers. He has delivered business start-up workshops and one to one coaching for a range of people from disadvantaged backgrounds. He has also lectured in schools, colleges, universities in the UK and Europe, and has delivered enterprise awareness programmes with underprivileged teenagers throughout the UK. Phil has an MBA, a Diploma in Performance Coaching, is a Prince 2 Practitioner and is a SFEDI Accredited Business Adviser.
Mike Brook brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of the enterprise and business support sector in London to the Board. Economic Development Officer at Wandsworth Council from 1989 to 2012, Mike oversaw the progressive improvement in the local economy, which included an increasing number of small firms. Mike is currently Chairman of Capital Enterprise, the membership organisation for providers of business advice, training and resources to new entrepreneurs and small businesses in London, and was a director of and then the Chair of Customer First from 2008 until 2014.
Amy joined NEN in April 2021, having designed and executed PR, marketing and communications campaigns in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Amy has previously worked for a top UK business school as well as luxury retail brands such as Aston Martin and Bicester Village. At NEN, she writes our newsletters and press releases, sharing the success stories of each and every member in our network. Amy loves interacting with members, partners and stakeholders. She represents NEN at in-person events, on Zoom and across social media, seeking opportunities to bring people and projects together to unite the enterprise support industry.
Representing Yorkshire, Jennifer has worked within the Scarborough based Enterprise Agency for 16 years. She brings a wealth of knowledge at successfully tendering for, and delivering, Government-funded Enterprise Initiatives, alongside first-hand experience of how the Enterprise Sector has evolved over the years. Jennifer also specialises in social Impact, governance and strategic planning for charitable organisations as a trustee of Age UK Scarborough & District, and Co-Founder of Fablab+.
Having been the Executive Director of two enterprise agencies, Aileen brings strong managerial and leadership skills to the Board. She was a key player in forming the Consortium of Enterprise Agencies in East Lancashire and later Lancashire, bringing together nine enterprise agencies which successfully bid for European funding and North West Development Agency funding. Aileen has represented enterprise agencies on a number of strategic boards. She was Chair and Vice Chair of the North West Enterprise Agency which at one time represented 12+ enterprise agencies. Being part of a number of small enterprise agencies, she has also been an active Business Adviser which has given her a good understanding at "grass roots" of the target groups that they aim to support.
Peter is an established non-executive director, backed by thirty years financial services experience and a successful track record in areas including strategic management, marketing and PR. Previously Chairman of Small Businesses for NatWest and RBS, he is also non-executive Chairman of the Lenlyn Group and a former non-executive Director of The Start Up Loan Company. Additionally he is a Director of Primedia Solutions, a bespoke media coaching company and a Director of Journolink Limited; an online platform which provides small businesses with affordable PR in a box and journalists with a matching service to small businesses keen to talk in the media.
Lisa has worked in Economic Development for 15 years at a local and regional level and has extensive experience of working alongside businesses and charities to design and develop strategies and programmes to deliver positive outcomes in support of the economy. In her professional career, she has worked to identify the needs of small businesses and corporates to stimulate economic development. Lisa has been a Trustee of StartUp Croydon for the past 4-years and has contributed to the overall direction and decisions faced by the charity during this time. In her role as Director at Shared Intelligence, she works alongside government at a national and local level as well as enterprise partnerships to develop policy and deliver business support.
Patricia Marks is the founder and CEO of Somerset Business Agency (SBA) CIC and is passionate about all thing enterprise – enterprising people, businesses and ideas. As an economy and enterprise Winston Churchill Fellow (2017) she is keen to progress the value of skills development, business knowledge and enterprise support across the UK and internationally. Patricia is acknowledged as an astute senior business professional specialising in business development and project management. With the team at SBA has developed significant experience of working with public, private and third sector organisations in the areas of employment, education, charity, healthcare, business, environment, agriculture and international business support. Patricia is also a Enterprise Adviser with The Careers and Enterprise Company.
Paul comes from an accomplished background in finance and auditing with KPMG, having previously studied accountancy and financial analysis at Newcastle University. Since his appointment in 2001, Paul has injected fresh thinking into establishing the BIC as a primary regional player in the fields of incubation, innovation and business support. In addition to his work with the BIC, Paul works with several other organisations, all dedicated to shaping enterprise in the North East. Paul chairs the regional enterprise network group (NEEAL), is on the business support board of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) and is Vice Chair of Sunderland College.
Currently CEO of PNE in Newcastle, Tracey has worked in the enterprise sector for over 30 years, developing and delivering regional, national and international enterprise programmes. Her passion lies in supporting people to achieve their aspirations and, in particular, supporting entrepreneurs and purpose-led businesses to have a positive social and environmental impact. Tracey is also a Director of North East Workspace and Trustee of the PNE Foundation.
Richard is a self-taught entrepreneur of 30 years and the Commercial Director at Transmit Startups, which delivers a range of services to UK businesses including finance, tax, startup and growth strategy, mentoring and coaching. Transmit Startups operate the UK's largest provider of Start Up Loans, Transmit Startups, plus other brands - Transmit Growth Loans, Transmit Consulting, R&D Tax Claim, Startup Direct and Smarta. Richard started his first business at the age of 19, after dropping out of university. He worked in the music industry before establishing one of the North East’s first specialist web development agencies in the late 90’s. After first starting to help other businesses, he was then asked to mentor a few startups. This developed into a business providing consulting, coaching, startup and growth services, which eventually became Transmit Consulting, along with the current co-directors in 2006. Transmit Startups was established in 2013 and has since introduced other brands to help SMEs at all levels. Richard is a non-exec director at Generic AI, specialists in Artificial General Intelligence.
Matt Smith is director of policy and research at the Centre for Entrepreneurs. He was recruited in 2013 by Luke Johnson to design, launch and run CFE as a think tank before merging it in 2017 with the New Entrepreneurs Foundation to form a unified entrepreneurship foundation. Since launch, Matt has overseen research projects on topics as diverse as seaside town revival, ex-prisoner rehabilitation, serial entrepreneurship and military entrepreneurship. He has also managed the launch and growth of two communities - the Incubator and Accelerator Network and the Refugee Entrepreneurship Network. Previously, Matt co-founded the European Startup Network and the student enterprise charity, NACUE.
Sara Williams took over as the Chief Executive of North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce in November 2011 and has since overseen the creation of the powerful Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce group. Previously she was Director of Enterprise at St Helens Chamber. Sara has a wealth of experience working with the private sector to develop services in response to their needs, as well as a proven track record of lobbying and representing businesses. Sara has worked in marketing and community development as well as in museums and galleries. Sara is a strong advocate for the private sector taking a lead in all aspects of economic development. She believes that Chambers of Commerce provide an excellent platform for engaging with and supporting businesses to grow and prosper. Her remit, and that of the Chambers, is to help businesses in Staffordshire to succeed and she believes that her role on the Board of Staffordshire University will further this aim. Sara has been a Governor of Liverpool John Moores University and so hopes to bring this experience to the Staffordshire University Board.
#MicroBizMattersDay – 8th January 2016
Today is #MicroBizMattersDay a day when hundreds of thousands of micro business owners – perhaps as many as 1 million – will be giving 8 minutes (or more) #IGave8 of their time to help other micro business owners somewhere in the world. The three main areas of focus for #IGave8 minutes of action to help other micro enterprise owners are #Customers; #Cashflow and #Confidence and so we thought we’d put a few of our thoughts on these topics on paper for you to consider! #Customers Customers are absolutely key to the survival and success of any business, without them there is no business – remember that! You can have the best product in the world, the cheapest, the best value, the most exclusive or the most popular – but if no-one is buying it then you have nothing! Remember that people buy people and so even if your product is the one they are almost certain to buy, if you don’t come across as the person they want to buy it from – you’ll lose the sale! Who are your customers – when you’re planning your business it’s very easy to base all your decisions on what your family and […]
PARTNER NEWS: Charter for the Self-employed from The RSA
The RSA launches a Charter for the Self-employed, which contains eight practical policy ideas designed to improve the living standards of people who work for themselves. These include: redesigning Universal Credit introducing automated saving schemes mandating equal treatment under the Work Programme, establishing a new form of pension auto-enrolment. The list of ideas is by no means exhaustive – the research reports contain several other proposals for consideration – but the RSA believes these to be the most realistic, cost-effective and impactful…and we would broadly agree with them. RSA’s ultimate aim? To ensure that more people can take part in the kind of meaningful self-employment that, at its best, enables them to flourish as creative individuals. It’s a nice fit with the work our members do each and every day. To accompany the launch of the Charter, RSA also created this short animation showing the enduring (and often hidden) importance of privilege in the world of entrepreneurship.
GUEST BLOG: All female British rowing team set to break pacific records with imminent arrival into Cairns, Australia
What has rowing got to do with business you might ask, well the disciplines required for this sort of endurance race might have parallels, read our guest blog from our corporate partner New Level Results to find out more……… 2015 saw some incredible British achievements, from the first British man into space, the amazing advancement of research into stem cells, to winning the Davis Cup for the first time since 1936. Kick starting 2016 is the inspiring and emotional story of 4 young British women who left the coast of San Francisco in April 2015 to embark on one of the most audacious, treacherous and challenging feats of human endurance ever seen – to row 8,446 miles across the Pacific Ocean. They have spent over 9 months at sea, living, eating, sleeping and rowing aboard Doris, their 29ft boat. Breaking several world records, their main objective is to raise awareness for women who face adversity and raise funds for Breast Cancer Care and Walking with the Wounded, female service women. During their time at sea they have recorded one of the most insightful and inspirational daily blogs ever written. Despite huge set-backs, exhaustion and the kind of danger and endurance […]
We’re NEN – and we’re proud
Today marks the start of #NENandProud – a shareable online campaign to raise awareness of the true impact our network makes across England. As the membership body for the enterprise support sector, we have always been hugely proud to represent the organisations that offer business support services to pre start, start-ups and established small businesses. In the 2014-15 year alone, our network of NEN Members across England helped 144,123 people access advice, support and training. For the first time, we’re really shouting about their success and our immense pride – with the creation of bespoke infographics which highlight some of the powerful numbers behind the work our members do. As the go to place for enterprise support services, our individual members across England achieve excellent results each year. Collectively, those numbers become even more powerful and we look forward to sharing details in this exciting campaign. You can help us spread the message far and wide. Get behind the campaign – see all of the numbers in full and share the details yourself by following @NatEntNet and the #NENandProud hashtag on Twitter daily from Monday 25th to Friday 29th January. You can follow the campaign on the National Enterprise Network […]
MEMBER GUIDE: Competing Fairly. Helping the businesses you advise to thrive
We’re delighted to feature a guest blog for our members from CMA – the Competition and Markets Authority – who work to promote competition for the benefit of consumers, both within and outside the UK. Its aim is to make markets work well for consumers, businesses and the economy. In this bespoke article, the CMA share details as to why fair competition is so important and outline how you can advise and signpost the businesses you work with on this very important topic. Fair competition allows markets to be open to businesses with new ideas, lower prices and better services for their customers. Unfair competition raises barriers to entry, causes businesses to be ripped off by their suppliers and can cause businesses to lose opportunities. Unfair competition is often illegal. Fair competition enables small firms, like those you advise, to thrive. You can help the businesses you advise to compete at their best by helping them recognise what anti-competitive practices look like so they can easily spot if they are being ripped off by a supplier, if they are being unfairly held back by a competitor or if they are at risk of breaking the law themselves. Simply direct them to Competing […]
PARTNER NEWS: Celebrating success at the frontline: ERSA Employability Awards 2016 now open
Today marks the official opening of the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) Employability Awards 2016, sponsored by APM, for entries from organisations helping jobseekers to move towards, into and progress in work across the UK. The awards, now in their fourth year, demonstrate and champion best practice from across the employment support sector, showing the true impact of frontline individuals and organisations on jobseekers, their families, local employers and the wider workforce. The awards will highlight innovations in public service delivery, as well as celebrate successful partnerships and outstanding support for specific groups such as young people and jobseekers with disabilities and health conditions. Kirsty McHugh, Chief Executive of ERSA, said: “These awards come at a time when the hard work and dedication of employment support providers is really paying off in terms of the number of individuals in employment, with the UK seeing the highest employment rate since comparable records began in 1971. “The ERSA Awards are an opportunity to look behind the big numbers and showcase the individual achievements and powerful results of the organisations working at the frontline of changing people’s lives and the communities we live in.” The deadline for entries is 14th March. Finalists in […]
Enterprise support organisations welcome new self-employment review
The founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company Julie Deane OBE has today published her independent review of self-employment in the UK. Commissioned by the Prime Minister last year, the review assesses what additional support can be provided to the increasing number of self-employed people across the country, better understand their motivations and reveal the challenges they face. The review makes a number of recommendations for the Government to consider and outlines the need of the private sector to recognise the increasing economic potential of the self-employed. National Enterprise Network commented as follows:- “We very much welcome the recommendations made in Julie Deane’s review; we were delighted to be consulted as part of the process and are very pleased to see some elements of our discussion are included in the report. In particular our belief that all of those who embark on self-employment are important and Government needs to do more to make sure their value to the economy is more fully felt, they are often inadvertently undermined by Government policies but they are taking risks like any other business owner and are contributing positively, that should be better recognised. We were also pleased to see reference to the changing nature […]
MEMBER NEWS: Quality win for Finance for Enterprise
Our congratulations to NEN Member Finance For Enterprise – for achieving ongoing compliance to the ‘Putting the Customer First’ standard for the third time. Originally awarded in 2009, the organisation has retaining this accreditation every two years; maintaining compliance with the highly regarded quality standard. Mike Wildey, Customer First Assessor commented, “Finance For Enterprise have been accredited with the Customer First standard for several years and remain compliant as they have demonstrated that they continue to put their customers at the heart of what they do. They have a dedicated team of talented people who do much more than provide access to funding, they help their customers to make informed decisions and support them as their businesses evolve. They thoroughly deserve to be part of the Customer First family of accredited organisations”. The Customer First Standard was born out of a Government initiative to improve levels of service in the business services sector and is now recognised as The National Standard for Customer Service. “We are delighted to yet again maintain the Customer First accreditation, which shows our hard work and ongoing commitment to our customers”, said Paula Foreman, Operations Manager at Finance for Enterprise. Here at National Enterprise Network, […]
Office of Tax Simplification review of small company taxes
Earlier this year National Enterprise Network were delighted to take a number of our Directors, members, and their clients to discuss small company taxes with the Office of Tax Simplification. OTS are currently undertaking a number of reviews regarding small company taxes and we were able to discuss all of these, the benefits and challenges of any changes and the impact they might have on small businesses as well as on those who support them to start up and once they are up and running. We discussed the review of the alignment of income tax and national insurance, the review of small companies taxation, as well as having an outline discussion about HMRCs moves towards making tax digital and quarterly reporting. Members from across the country – Yorkshire & Humber, the East of England, the South East and South West – attended along with four small businesses who were all able to give valuable input from the perspective of those likely to be directly affected by any resulting changes. The first of the reviews – into small company taxation – has now been published and you can read it here. Dawn Whiteley, CEO of National Enterprise Network commented – “our […]
The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) recently published the results of research it has conducted in order to better understand self-employment – you can see the research results here. Whilst there is nothing in the research which will come as any great surprise to National Enterprise Network members, there are some interesting conclusions to draw from the respondents in terms of their likelihood to employ people (only about 10%), particularly when compared with the extent to which they collaborate with others on shared projects (about 60%). We’ve been saying for some time that there are greater proportions of those clients coming to our members who have no intention of growing their businesses through taking on staff, that’s not to say they don’t want to grow, to take on larger projects or get involved in bigger contracts and therefore make more money and have bigger businesses – but they don’t want to do it by becoming an employer! They got into their own business because they want to be in control of their own destiny, to put their skills and experiences into use for themselves and/or in response to other lifestyle choices, caring responsibilities etc – they don’t feel they […]
PARTNER NEWS: NatWest extends support for SMEs by scrapping lending fees
No early repayment fees on Small Business Loans up to £500k NatWest first major bank to offer no set up and early repayment fees Scrapping of fees supported by Federation of Small Businesses and Forum of Private Business Bank launches team of ‘Business Growth Enablers’ to help local businesses grow and succeed NatWest has increased its support for SMEs by eliminating both set up and early repayment fees on its loans for small business. Businesses can now borrow up to £500,000 and repay at any time without incurring any penalties. NatWest removed the arrangement fees on its small business loans last year, but in recognition that businesses often need flexibility and control of their cashflow, the bank has decided to remove early repayment fees. In addition, NatWest has increased the maximum loan value, making it the first bank to offer businesses fee-free loans of this size. Marcelino Castrillo, Managing Director of Business Banking at NatWest, said: “We know that businesses want greater control of their finances. If a company’s circumstances change and they are in a position to pay off an existing loan, we absolutely believe they should have the flexibility to do so without incurring penalties. We want […]
Baroness Mone publishes ‘Be the boss’ review
National Enterprise Network were delighted that we could ourselves contribute to the Baroness Mone review, and that in addition a number of our members were also consulted as part of the review process; even if, disappointingly, there is little or no reference to us or our members and their work in the report itself. We are pleased that the first part of the review has now been published and that it picks up on some of the issues we and our members had raised with her. You can read more about the review and find the report here. National Enterprise Network members have been supporting people in deprived areas to consider starting a business for decades and so know only too well the issues they face; the cultural and emotional barriers as well as the skills, experience and finance hurdles they have to overcome. We were therefore pleased to see some of the report’s recommendations picking up on areas we have championed, in particular a recognition of the value of mentoring and how those businesses who take some form of support in the start up of their business are more likely to survive and thrive. We agree with the need […]
PARTNER BLOG: Competing fairly in business – why it matters to start-ups
Judith Frame from the Competition and Markets Authority writes this blog on competition law compliance. I recently listened to a brilliant podcast called ‘Start-up’. Unsurprisingly, it’s about a guy who’s starting his own business. What is surprising – at least to someone who isn’t in the middle of starting a company from scratch – is the sheer scale of what he had to do. Coming up with a great idea was just the beginning; turning that idea into a business meant an awful lot more: organising finance, making a product, hiring staff, finding premises, negotiating contracts, doing plans, managing crises – not to mention living on a shoe string until revenue started coming in. But one thing that made it easier for this start-up was the fact that other businesses weren’t stopping him from ‘starting up’. This may sound obvious. But behind the scenes, the invisible hand of competition law ensured that he benefited from a level playing field. Start-ups might be stopped – by competitors Sometimes start-ups can be sabotaged when bigger, established businesses don’t like a new competitor’s cheaper prices, better products or innovative, more efficient business models. They try to find ways of blocking them from advertising […]
National Enterprise Network outlines impact of 2016 Budget on small business
In today’s Budget 2016 statement, Chancellor George Osborne defined his proposals as “a Budget for small businesses.” As the membership body for enterprise support organisations that supports pre start and start up clients, National Enterprise Network (NEN) unpicks some of the key headlines. In one of the biggest announcements today, reforms to business rates were confirmed; meaning 600,000 small businesses will now have no rates to pay and a further 250,000 will have their rates cuts from April 2017. Overheads are a significant outgoing for any small business and we are pleased that so many of the small businesses our network helps with will benefit from this. Whilst the outlook for global economy was classed as “materially weaker” and with the UK “not immune” to slowdown elsewhere – National Enterprise Network knows that small businesses are contributing hugely and predicts that this will continue. However, the chancellor did demonstrate his confidence in job creation, with a million jobs forecast to be created by 2020. NEN can’t help but wonder how many of these jobs will be created by those classed as small businesses; as we expect it will be a significant contribution. Corporation tax will be cut, from its current […]
NEN member receives outstanding loan officer award
We are proud to congratulate one of our members for receiving a prestigious industry award at the 2016 Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards, held in Manchester last month. Tim Daniels, Investment Manager at Finance For Enterprise beats off stiff competition to win Outstanding Loan Officer at the 2016 Responsible Finance Awards ceremony held in Manchester. Andrew Austwick, Fund Manager commented “Tim has been put forward for this award as he has been a consistent top performer since starting at the organisation. He is an invaluable member of the team, helping to deliver growth in investment our business has experienced as we have expanded our appetite, loan product offering, geographical area and maximum loan advance amount. Tim is renowned for his high levels of tenacity and has always shown commitment, energy and a genuine enjoyment for his role and gone above and beyond the call of duty. It is fantastic he has been recognised for his commitment to our organisation and the businesses he has supported in our region and The Responsible Finance sector.” “I am thrilled. I am grateful to all that put me forward for this prestigious award. It is a privilege to help and support businesses that without alternative finance […]
NEN member NSEA has a flying start to the year
We were delighted to hear that one of our members, North Somerset Enterprise Agency (NSEA), kicked off 2016 with a great start. In January 11 new business start-ups were launched in ventures ranging from a pizza delivery service to a mobile barber and an agricultural contractor to an online magazine, with all receiving local and personal business support to help their owners achieve their ambitions. The number of new businesses launched in January is slightly higher than the same period last year when eight new businesses started out, six of whom (75%) are still successfully trading 12 months on. It is also slightly higher than three years ago when 10 new businesses launched, six of whom (60%) are still trading. Throughout 2015 NSEA helped between 24 and 28 businesses per quarter start-out, with a total of 106 NSEA-supported new businesses launched in total, creating 121 jobs in North Somerset. It also offered one-to-one advice to 1093 businesses and ran 75 training courses, covering everything from financial planning to intellectual property and export. NSEA has also seen success with feedback from businesses that it has worked with historically. Of the 87 businesses that it helped to launch in 2012 – three […]
Why it’s important for us to support UK Employability Day – 15th April 2016
As a membership body, we’ve always been really proud of the work undertaken by our members, so each year we compile a set of statistics that demonstrates the impact of their work. One of the statistics that we published as part of our #NENAndProud campaign at the beginning of 2016 showed that 62% of the new businesses that our members helped start last year were owned by people who had previously been unemployed. For many of our members, providing help to the unemployed has been at the heart of their services since they first began. So when we heard about the first UK Employability Day, we knew that we wanted to get behind the campaign, and encourage our members to do the same. Next Friday is the first UK Employability Day, and we’re proud to be giving our support. If you look back at the history of the organisations run by our members, many were founded in response to increasing rates of unemployment. Economic downturn and large scale industry closures during the 1980s led the government to recognise the value of encouraging the growth of small businesses, which in turn would also provide new opportunities for the unemployed. Our members […]
More Than 240 British Businesses Celebrate Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday With Queen’s Awards
Two hundred and forty-three businesses across the UK have received a new Queen’s Award for Enterprise, recognising their contribution to international trade, innovation and sustainable development. Today (21 April 2016) Businesses Secretary Sajid Javid named the winners of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise and the five individual recipients of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. This year’s winners are UK businesses leading the way in a broad range of industries – from cloud computing and medical device manufacture, to pet health and sports broadcasting. Seven businesses received awards for sustainable development, with a further 92 awards presented for innovation. The category for international trade increased to 150 winners, indicating the high quality of entries from businesses showing outstanding growth in overseas earnings. Six small and medium sized companies – Powder Systems Ltd, Peak Scientific Instruments, Liquid Gas Equipment Ltd, JCB Power, Vision RT and Inciner8 Limited – all achieved double recognition, receiving awards for both innovation and international trade. Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The Queen’s Awards are a great way of celebrating the best of British business. Whether you’re a disruptive start-up making life easier for your customers or a large company with a blockbuster product, these awards recognise […]
StartUp Britain bus to visit record 30 towns in summer StartUp Tour
National enterprise campaign StartUp Britain, run by the Centre for Entrepreneurs, is hitting the road again this summer to provide inspiration and support to thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs. Now in its fifth year, the StartUp Britain bus tour, powered by NatWest, will visit a record 30 towns and cities over six weeks. The StartUp Tour is part of an ongoing partnership between StartUp Britain and NatWest that takes a beautiful 1966 Routemaster bus, owned by the bank, across the country to promote entrepreneurship. Parking in high-footfall town squares and offering free, impartial advice, the bus tour celebrates entrepreneurial communities across Britain and inspires individuals to turn their business ideas into action. The StartUp Tour will have a distinctly local flavour this year, with energetic entrepreneurs recruited in each town to get on board and give advice. They will be joined by local ‘experts’ including accountants, lawyers and professional business advisors. Also on-board will be representatives of national partners including the Intellectual Property Office, the National Enterprise Network and the British Library Business & IP Centre Network. Check the destinations and get more information Entrepreneurs: Volunteer to give advice on-board in your town/city Accountants / lawyers: Join as a local sponsor Centre for Entrepreneurs […]
PARTNER BLOG: Sick as a parrot; Football club feels the full force of the Pensions Regulator
We should all be aware of pension auto-enrolment by now, here our Corporate Partner HR4UK reports on a recent case where one business got it wrong, and how they can help ensure you and your clients don’t! Swindon Town Football Club has scored an own goal with a late penalty – or, at least, a penalty for being late. The Pensions Regulator has fined the club a massive £22,900 for failing to comply with its auto enrolment responsibilities. The club was initially issued with a compliance notice by the Pensions Regulator on 18 August 2014, requiring the club to auto enrol its staff by 17 October 2014. There were then a number of additional delays in the club complying with its duties, which led to the escalating fine. Although the club is now complying, it must also meet back-dated pensions contributions on top of the fine, which it settled in February 2016. The Regulator said that the club had failed to put eligible staff into a pension scheme from their ‘staging date’ when automatic enrolment started to apply, had failed to pay contributions and had failed to write to staff explaining how automatic enrolment affected them. Companies that fail to […]
Supporting local business through Growth Hubs
The growth hub network is now complete with a hub in each of the 39 LEP areas, covering 100% of the registered business population in England. Growth hubs work with local and national partners – such as universities, Enterprise Zones, Banks, Business Bodies and Local Authorities – acting as a catalyst to make things work better locally for businesses, making it easier for them to find the help they need. Growth Hub Week, 16th – 20th May 2016, celebrates the completion of the growth hub network and seeks to raise the profile of growth hubs and the work they do to help local businesses. Business Minister Anna Soubry said:- “Small businesses are the beating heart of our economy and this government continues to build the right environment for them to thrive. We will keep cutting red tape and business taxes, improving access to finance and broadband, and taking forward the measures in the Enterprise Act to cement our position as the best place in Europe to do business. “Growth Hubs have already helped thousands of businesses and, with the full network up and running, every registered business in England can access the expertise they need to succeed. They will help […]
PARTNER BLOG: Confidence from new freelancers remains strong in first quarter of the year
By Lorence Nye, IPSE Economic Advisor IPSE’s Freelancer Confidence Index is drawn from a quarterly survey of freelancers which assesses the recent performance of their businesses, as well as their outlook for the performance of their businesses and the economy in the three and 12 months following. The main index figures are calculated using an average of the 12 month forecast from freelancers. As 0 is neutral, any number higher than this indicates a positive outlook from freelancers while negative numbers show that freelancers believe conditions will worsen. In this article we look at those surveyed who started their business less than two years ago. Business confidence remains strong, while confidence in the economy weakens Although these relatively new freelancers reported a slight decline in confidence towards their business performance in Q1 2016, they remained decidedly optimistic about their businesses’ prospects over the next 12 months. This sentiment of confidence has followed a similar path to that seen among more experienced freelancers, but interestingly, those that have been freelancing for two years or less have consistently reported higher business confidence than their more experienced counterparts. The confidence of new-to-market freelancers and more experienced freelancers is driven by the same three […]
PARTNER NEWS: Turning prisoners into entrepreneurs would save £1.4b per annum, claims CFE report
A report released today by the Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE) suggests that making an entrepreneurship programme available to all pre-release prisoners could save the government up to £1.4 billion annually, at the maximum cost of £82 million – providing a 17x return on investment The Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE) – the leading think tank for entrepreneurs – has today released a report detailing the appetite and propensity for entrepreneurship among prisoners. It concludes that the large scale introduction of prison entrepreneurship programmes could save the government up to £1.4 billion annually on the cost of ex-prisoner reoffending, which currently translates to around £4.5 billion annually. It calculates that the widespread implementation of such programmes would cost a maximum of £82 million, the equivalent of a 17x return on investment. To achieve this, the report proposes that the government creates a prison entrepreneurship fund to support local programmes. The calculated savings, CFE predicts, would be made through a reduced reoffending rate. Currently, reoffending by ex-prisoners costs the UK approximately £4.5 billion a year, and each reoffender costs the government and wider society £131,000. Given the challenges ex-prisoners face finding employment, CFE estimates that programmes encouraging prisoners to become entrepreneurs – which […]
PARTNER BLOG: Competition law redress: getting back what you’ve lost
The Competition and Markets Authority writes on how SMEs can now more easily and quickly seek legal redress if they have been the victims of anti-competitive business practices. In 2008, a group of fans supported by the Consumers’ Association were each handed £20 compensation by JJB Sports after the Office of Fair Trading found that the store, among others, sold football shirts at prices inflated in breach of competition law rules. Anyone – from an individual to a small business – can become a victim of someone else breaking competition law. Businesses can join forces to fix prices, rig a bidding process or share out markets – effectively working together to cut out competitors and deprive consumers or other businesses who buy from or deal with them from the lower prices, greater choice or other benefits that competition can bring. Or a dominant business can abuse its position by, say, charging such low prices that it drives a competitor out of business before hiking those prices up once it faces less competition. Or even refusing to supply a long-standing customer without good reason. As the case of the overcharged football fans shows, it’s been possible to seek redress for some […]
Could NEN be award winning? We’re shortlisted in the TAF Awards!
We are delighted to announce that National Enterprise Network has been shortlisted in the 2016 Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards. We submitted applications to highlight the success of our 2015 Annual Conference and the impact of our January 2016 #NENandProud campaign – and both projects have been put forward to the shortlisting stage. The National Enterprise Network 2015 annual conference is to be judged in the Conference of the Year category. Our #NENandProud campaign is up for two categories – Digital Campaign of the Year and Social Media Award. The awards programme is formally supported by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and recognises, rewards and promotes best practice amongst Trade Associations in the UK. Now in their fourteenth year, this prestigious awards programme offers TAF members a chance to showcase their hard work and achievements from the previous 12 to 18 months. We joined the association in June 2015 and you can look back at the announcement here. We are so pleased to have got this far. We have never applied for any awards before so really are delighted with this recognition. Fingers and toes are now all firmly crossed for an actual win. Receiving a Best […]
PARTNER BLOG: New RSA Report: The Digital Powerhouse
This week the RSA, Tech North and the Impact Hub publish a new report looking at the North’s emerging Digital Powerhouse. Our study finds that over 280,000 people in the region now work in the digital economy, and that the sector is creating jobs at ten times the rate of the North’s non-digital sectors. The importance of the tech industry is only likely to grow in the coming years as digital products and services come to underpin every industry – from retail and banking through to manufacturing and agriculture. The tech industry is of significant value to the North and must be central to any aspirations to create a Northern Powerhouse. We estimate that a ‘fully charged’ digital economy in the North – where productivity levels in the sector match the national average – would generate an extra £5.7bn in GVA. Finance, infrastructure, talent and culture are among the key conditions that need to be in place for this to happen. However, our report argues that attention should also be paid to another important factor: market opportunities. The region is home to hundreds of public sector bodies and thousands of businesses in traditional industries, many of which could benefit from […]
National business support client serves up on National Fish & Chips Day
Today is National Fish and Chip Day, with fans of the traditional English meal encouraged to head to their local shop to show their support for one of the nation’s most loved foods. One such shop preparing to serve up extra portions is Parveen Akhtar, owner of The Chip House in Cottingley, West Yorkshire – opened in December 2015, with an estimated 9000 bags of chips served so far. A family background in running Fish & Chip shops provided motivation for Parveen to purchase her own shop, but she lacked experience in knowing how to start her own business. As part of the Start & Grow programme, dedicated Business Mentor Phil Harrison from NEN member organisation Airedale Enterprise Services provided Parveen with much needed support, as she negotiated the purchase of a business close to her home last year. As well as help to get approval of a start-up loan of £16,000, Phil also arranged for Parveen to attend a seminar on Business Planning, which enabled her to create a framework for her business, as well as giving her confidence in planning the future of her business. Commenting on the approach Parveen took in building her business, Phil Harrison, Business […]
CEO Dawn Whiteley awarded MBE in Queen’s 2016 Birthday Honours
National Enterprise Network CEO and well known enterprise champion Dawn Whiteley has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for her services to business support and enterprise. Dawn was confirmed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, alongside other 2016 Birthday Honours recipients. The Chief Executive of National Enterprise Network has worked tirelessly in the support of pre start and start-up businesses for nearly 25 years. National Enterprise Network is the membership body that represents the enterprise support sector across England – enterprise support organisations providing independent and impartial advice, training and mentoring to new and emerging businesses. Dawn joined the organisation in April 2011 from Business Link Yorkshire, where she was Head of Enterprise, with 16 years before that spent at West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency (WYEA). Dawn started working in the enterprise sector in 1992 and has never looked back – dedicating her professional life to supporting pre starts and start-up businesses locally, regionally and now nationally across England. Speaking about her MBE, Dawn said: “I am completely and utterly delighted to be recognised for the part I have played over the last 25 years – and am truly humbled too. […]
Business bodies target 1m UK businesses with new finance guide
With thousands of British start-ups and SMEs turning to online platforms to raise finance, a coalition of major UK business organisations have launched a new digital guide on different sources of investment and professional advice. Led by ICAEW and the British Business Bank, 23 bodies, including National Enterprise Network have contributed to the new Business Finance Guide – a journey from start-up to growth. They aim to reach the inbox of one million businesses of all sizes in the UK. thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk builds on the success of a 2014 version that reached three quarters of a million companies, entrepreneurs, investors and advisers How businesses seek finance today: SMEs are still most likely to go only to their main bank when seeking finance, despite a steady increase in alternatives. Three out of five SMEs only contact one provider when seeking finance. Recent research by Amicus Finance showed increasing frustration amongst SMEs with high-street banks, with 16 per cent of 400 SME business owners turned down by a mainstream lender, up from 11 per cent in 2015. 31 per cent said their inability to secure finance terms with traditional lenders has led to a lost deal or inv estment opportunity. But the use […]
Statement from our CEO Dawn Whiteley MBE on the EU Referendum Results
As we wake to news of a European Union exit this morning, National Enterprise Network is immediately focused on understanding exactly what this could mean for the enterprise support sector and the thousands of pre-start and start-up businesses that our members support each year. Rest assured we will work, as a priority, with stakeholders in government and more widely to understand the ramifications and the part we need to play in them.
Business Groups Join Forces To Reassure Britain’s Smallest Firms
A cohort of small business representative groups have joined forces to offer a consistent line of support to Britain’s smallest firms and the self-employed following the EU referendum. The nine organisations agreed in a meeting on Tuesday 28th June to coordinate their efforts in the interests of offering positive reassurance to small businesses. The representatives from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Enterprise Nation, National Enterprise Network, Open to Export, The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN), the Institute of Chartered Accountants, England and Wales (ICAEW), British Library Business and IP Centre, and Coadec, will work together to offer ideas around what businesses should be doing now to shore up their firms for the future. Emma Jones, founder of small business support group Enterprise Nation, said: “It’s more important now than ever before for entrepreneurs to maintain optimism and look forwards, not backwards. The worst thing we can do is talk ourselves into a recession when formal negotiations leading to exit will take at least two years.” “Inevitably there will be new opportunities – and there are things businesses can do to protect themselves from changes that might affect them in short term and in the […]
Proud to have been shortlisted at the Trade Association Forum Awards
National Enterprise Network joined 300 other professionals from UK’s trade associations and membership bodies last night for the 2016 Trade Association Forum Awards in London. Our applications to highlight the success of our 2015 Annual Conference and the impact of our January 2016 #NENandProud campaign were shortlisted in three categories. The 2015 Annual Conference of the Year was in the running for the Conference of the Year accolade, with our #NENandProud campaign shortlisted in both Digital Campaign of the Year and for the Social Media Award. Whilst we weren’t awarded the trophies on this occasion, we really were delighted to be shortlisted at to be part of such a big event – the entrants were all of such a high standard. The 2016 Trade Association Forum Awards are the first awards programme that NEN has ever submitted entries for, so the team really are thrilled to have been recognised. Speaking about the shortlisted entries, National Enterprise CEO Dawn Whiteley said “We are so pleased to have had our entries shortlisted in this flagship awards ceremony from the Trade Association Forum, where we were recognised alongside our peers. All the activity we undertake here at National Enterprise Network is driven towards […]
A proud partner in the 2016 Start Up Britain Bus Tour
At the end of last month, the Start Up Britain bus returned to London and completed its 2016 six week tour with a final stop at Kings Cross square. During the 45 day tour, the bus visited 30 towns in England, Wales and Scotland and aimed to engage with 10,000 people. As an official tour partner, here at National Enterprise Network we were thrilled to not only have our logo featured on the bus, but to give direct support to the tour thanks to representation from our membership at each of the 25 stops in England. Through close involvement with the tour, we have been able to: Cement our relationship with the other tour partners and clearly demonstrate that our network is a key supporter of the enterprise sector Position our members as the place to go for anyone in their local area who needs to develop their enterprise skills Gain national exposure of both the network and our members in a high profile campaign Provide members who joined the bus stops with the opportunity to demonstrate the value and breadth of their business support. We received direct feedback from the team at Start Up Britain thanking us for the […]
We are proud to present the 2016 NEN Conference theme
Navigating new waters – the future for business and business support post Brexit. As and when we leave the European Union, it will undoubtedly cause a massive impact to our sector and for the businesses we support. Together, we need to understand how business and business support will operate in a post EU environment. The 2016 Conference is committed to presenting the very latest news and views in our dedicated day-long event. Held at the RBS Conference Centre in central London on Friday 18th November. This year’s conference will offer a tailored agenda shaped directly by how negotiations are progressing. What are the risks for businesses and our sector and what are the rewards? We will look in detail at exactly how the enterprise support sector might be affected, and as a network determine how we can best steer ourselves through the changes ahead. We plan to shape the agenda to reflect how negotiations progress; working very closely with all stakeholders to prepare cutting edge conference content, with up to the minute contributions from appropriate contributors. With that in mind exact programme details are not yet as a stage that they can be announced, but as the dust […]
PARTNER NEWS: Contractors set to abandon public sector
New research has found that contractors are set to leave the public sector if a damaging Government proposal comes into effect. A new survey from IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, has found that over half (54%) of so-called Personal Service Companies (PSCs) working in the public sector would leave the sector if an unfair Government proposal to change how they are taxed is implemented. What are PSCs and how will the proposal affect them? So-called PSCs are individuals who operate as contract workers through the intermediary of an incorporated business. They are crucial in running many of our public services efficiently. The Government intends to make public sector organisations, or the agency, determine the IR35 status of an engagement, as opposed to the contractor’s company. The client/agency will then be responsible for applying employment taxes to those businesses that are deemed to be ‘caught’ by the new rules. In effect, the Government wants to tax these businesses like employees, without offering any employment rights. IPSE conducted a survey among independent professionals that aimed to understand how the proposed changes might affect PSCs. Abandoning the public sector Nearly a third (31%) of respondents indicated that they […]
Official launch of our 2016 National Enterprise Network conference and the 2016 National Enterprise Network Awards!
With September upon us, it isn’t just the start of a new month, but the start of our full NEN Conference and Awards communication programme too! Ready to meet this year’s conference facilitator and keynote speaker? We announce two big name set to lead this year’s event….. Facilitation from BBC Business journalist Tanya Beckett The presenter of BBC World News’ Business Live and the business news on Radio 4’s Today programme joins us as this year’s facilitator. Working as a presenter for the BBC since 1998, Tanya has anchored a variety of news and business programmes across the BBC including Business Breakfast, Breakfast News, Working Lunch and most recently, World Business Report. Tanya brings a wealth of business knowledge and experience to the 2016 NEN Conference and to our significant Brexit theme. Keynote from high profile financial analyst Louise Cooper As a Chartered Financial Analyst, writer, Times financial columnist, broadcaster and reporter on economics and market activity for senior economists and policy makers, Louise is well placed to deliver this year’s keynote. Described as “well informed and lively” Louise offers “brilliant analysis of economics and financial markets in a way which is insightful and easy to understand”. In light of […]
Making the most of Small Business Saturday
Gearing up for main event on 3rd December 2016 We are proud to be supporting Small Business Saturday this year. Here we share with you a few ideas for how you can maximise these opportunities. Supporting Small Business Saturday As you no doubt already know, Small Business Saturday is an annual grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities. While the day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses. We are proud to once again be supporting the campaign. The overall aim of the campaign resonates with us and the work that you do. Therefore we wanted to share with you a few ideas of ways that you can make the most of this opportunity, which is putting the spotlight firmly on small businesses and the help and support that can be provided by enterprise organisations. Get involved in the campaign The beauty of this campaign is that if you can’t commit to doing something on the day itself, you can still get involved and share some of the buzz created by […]
PARTNER NEWS: SFEDI and IOEE Celebrating Enterprise Awards 2016 Finalists Announced
The Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE) and the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI) will host the Celebrating Enterprise Awards 2016 on Thursday 10 November at the House of Lords. Celebrating Enterprise is a high-profile, annual event recognising outstanding endeavour in enterprise learning and skills; finalists shortlisted across each of five prestigious categories have now been announced. Leading figures from the worlds of enterprise learning and skills will gather for the awards with Lloyds Banking Group as the headline sponsor. The Celebrating Enterprise Awards recognise the endeavours of learners, educators, entrepreneurs, mentors, policy-shapers and others making an outstanding contribution to the UK’s enterprise and skills landscape. The awards categories and finalists are as follows: Enterprise Educator of the Year; Anna Howard, Christine Atkinson and David Gibson Enterprise Support Champion; Elaine Owen, Liz Cameron and Samuel Kasumu Enterprising Learner of the Year; Martina Eco, Robert Jones and Roxanne Kelly Enterprise Learning Provider of the Year; Ignition Autos Training, London South Bank University and University of Worcester Business School Small Business Apprenticemaker of the Year; Anthony Impey, Debbie Bryan and Scott Bailey Full information on each of the awards categories is available at awards.ioee.uk. Ruth Lowbridge MBE, Executive Chair of the SFEDI Group, […]
Business organisations form the Small Business Taskforce
We are proud to announce that along with 12 other organisation, we have formed a taskforce which represents small businesses in the UK, and is focused on ensuring the UK retains its leading global entrepreneurship position – number one in Europe and fourth globally according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. The Small Business Taskforce also includes The Entrepreneurs Network, Enterprise Nation, ICAEW, IPSE, Bright Ideas Trust, Global Entrepreneurship Week, NACUE, Social Enterprise UK, Coadec, CFE, RSA and EISA. Together we plan to offer the government a clear route to over a million small businesses and self-employed individuals that we jointly represent. As Britain’s future is negotiated, we have identified five factors of importance for business support and procurement in a post-Brexit world. 1. Flexible workforce 2. Workable tax regime 3. Accessible business support 4. International trade for all 5. Consultation with small business Read the full press release
The voice of a million small businesses
Over the past five years, the UK has become one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor puts the UK at number one in Europe and number four globally. This has been enabled by the low costs of start-up entry, accessible technology, a flexible economy and a positive attitude towards self-starters and entrepreneurship; from the media, large corporates, and government. As organisations representing small businesses of all shapes and sizes, reflecting the new world of work, from every region, we are committed to ensuring the UK retains its leading global entrepreneurship position. Together, we represent over a million small businesses and self-employed individuals and recognise that there are key factors that have enabled them to flourish. We want to know that those negotiating Britain’s future can ensure these conditions remain in place, as Brexit deals are negotiated and a new government makes its mark. To achieve that, we feel work and commitment is required around: Flexible workforce We call on the government to provide clear and unequivocal reaffirmation of the long-term residence rights of EU citizens currently working in the UK. We also call for the Government to commit to […]
2016 National Enterprise Network Awards shortlist announced
National Enterprise Network is pleased to announce the shortlist of entries for the 2016 National Enterprise Network awards – a programme established in 2007 to recognise excellence in the delivery of enterprise support, encouraging the exchange of good practice and the development of improved services and organisations. The applications received showed us first hand how many fantastic enterprise related initiatives and dedicated professionals there are up and down the country. Our judging panel has chosen a number of agencies that clearly showed us why they are award worthy. Introducing the 2016 National Enterprise Network awards shortlist: ~ Airedale Enterprise ~ ~ Business Enterprise Support (BES) ~ ~ Business and Enterprise Finance ~ ~ Enterprise First ~ ~ Finance for Enterprise ~ ~ Ignite Business Enterprise ~ ~ Menta ~ ~ PNE Group ~ ~ RiDO ~ ~ South Durham Enterprise Agency ~ ~ Start Up Croydon ~ ~ TEDCO Business Support ~ ~ WSX Enterprise ~ ~ Yorkshire in Business ~ On Friday 18th November 2016, we’ll announce seven category award winners from this fine group of enterprise support organisations. The dedicated NEN awards ceremony takes place at our 2016 Annual Conference held at RBS Conference Centre in central London. Take a […]
We’re proud to be featured in the Business Finance Guide – a journey from start up to growth
Back in June we announced that we were one of 23 organisations who have partnered with the British Business Bank and the ICAEW to launch a new digital guide. The Business Finance Guide – a journey from start-up to growth has been produced to help Start-ups and SMEs understand the different sources of finance available to them. The guide hopes to reach 1 million businesses in the UK, building on the success of the 2014 edition of the guide which reached 750,000 companies, entrepreneurs, investors and advisers. Why has the guide been produced? The ways that SMEs raise finance is still focused on traditional paths, with three out of five businesses going straight to their main bank. With an increase in the number of businesses being turned down by high street banks – up to 16% in 2016 (11% of 400 SME businesses were turned down in 2015) – there is growing frustration, particularly by those businesses who subsequently lost deals or further investment after they were turned down. Meanwhile there is a growing number of alternative sources of and routes to finance being available, for example equity finance rose to a total investment value of £3.5bn in 2015. Navigating […]
NEN Members in the running for national funding – we call for your support
We are delighted to see a number of organisations within NEN membership in the running for this round of the RBS Skills & Opportunities fund. Over 800 not-for-profit organisations across the UK and Ireland applied and a shortlist of 95 projects was announced last week, divided into seven regions. Each organisation on the shortlist is proposing to set up or extend a project that will give people in disadvantaged communities the skills and opportunities to help themselves succeed in life – whether that’s by gaining a qualification, getting into work or by starting a business. RBS is calling on the country to help decide which ones should go on to receive grants of up to £35,000 from a total pot of £1.25m this December. You can vote for one project in each region, and you have until midday on Friday 4 November to decide. Congratulations to those within NEN membership who have been recognised and who are asking for your votes. We highlight the organisations in NEN membership that are in the running here. North: NE-BIC Funding will help people make a ‘Start!’, a project designed to improve the prospects of residents from deprived Sunderland wards by helping them start […]
PARTNER NEWS: New Matchmaking Service For Small Businesses Looking For Finance Launched
Small businesses struggling to access finance from big banks will be matched with alternative finance options, thanks to new government scheme, supported by the British Business Bank. From 1st November nine of the UK’s biggest banks will pass on the details of small businesses they have rejected for finance to three finance platforms – Funding Xchange, Business Finance Compared and Funding Options. These platforms will then share these details with alternative finance providers and go on to facilitate a conversation between the business and any provider who expresses an interest in supplying finance to them. These new rules make it easier for businesses to access finance when they have been turned down by traditional lenders. RBS, Lloyds, HSBC, Barclays, Santander, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, Bank of Ireland, Danske Bank and First Trust Bank, will all have to offer access to these finance platforms, with small business having to give their permission before their details are shared. Research shows that 71% of businesses seeking finance only ask one lender and, if rejected for finance, many simply give up on investment rather than seek alternative options. Last year 324,000 small and medium sized businesses sought a loan or overdraft, 26% of these were initially declined by their bank […]
PARTNER NEWS: Contractor exodus would add to Government staffing crisis at a time of Brexit uncertainty
ISSUE DATE: Wednesday 16 November 2016 IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, is deeply concerned that freelance contractors leaving the public sector will further complicate the UK’s negotiations to leave the EU. IPSE commissioned research has found that over half (54%) of contractors will leave the public sector if changes to the IR35 small business tax come into place, and four in ten (39%) will demand an increase in their pay rate if they stay. The Government has proposed to change IR35 – complex rules designed to tackle ‘false self-employment’ – in the public sector. Currently it is up to the individual doing the work to determine their IR35 status. However, this proposal would shift the liability onto the public sector organisation or recruitment agency which engages the individual’s business. The client/agency will then be responsible for applying employment taxes to those businesses that are deemed to be ‘caught’ by the new rules. In effect, the Government wants to tax these businesses like employees, without offering any employment rights. Many other business organisations are warning Government of the potential for disaster on the delivery of public services if the measures are pushed through. This comes at […]
National Enterprise Network announces new Chairman and Board members
Long serving enterprise support leader Graham Marley has been announced as the new National Enterprise Network Chairman – to lead the Board and its development of key strategic activities for the membership body that represents enterprise support organisations. Graham was officially confirmed as the new Chairman at National Enterprise Network’s Annual General Meeting on Friday 18th November. As Chief Executive of the Let’s Do Business Group (LDBG), Graham has served at the agency for 15 years – having previously worked as a Senior Business Manager with NatWest. LDBG provide business support, finance, exhibitions and accredited training across Sussex (and the wider South East). The agency also delivers the Inward Investment service for East Sussex, the county’s Growth Hub service, provides Town Centre Management services in Hastings and includes the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce. Graham joined the NEN Board in 2012, serving as Deputy Chair since 2014 and he is also an ambassador for Sussex Cricket. Speaking of his new role as NEN Chairman, Graham Marley said: “I’m proud to have worked in the enterprise support sector for 15 years. I know from my time running Let’s Do Business Group how essential National Enterprise Network is – to demonstrate the […]
#TeamNEN member toolkit
Thank you for supporting our campaign! As we said, in order to spread our campaign as far and as wide as possible, we need your help! To make things easy for you, here’s a toolkit of everything you need to get involved. Share the animation The best way of sharing the animation is by linking to it on our YouTube channel. You can also embed the video on your own website too – just follow the steps below. 1. First, you’ll need access to the back end of your website. 2. Once you’re in, copy and paste the code below onto your website page. <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/rJ8xCSvIurI” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe> Twitter – get tweeting about #TeamNEN The hashtag that we are using everywhere on the campaign is #TeamNEN. We would love for you to give our tweets a like, retweet them, or use one of the suggested tweets below. We are part of #TeamNEN and proud of it. Look what we have achieved! https://youtu.be/rJ8xCSvIurI This week is all about #TeamNEN & the big impact we’re having on the enterprise support sector. Watch this video for the full story… https://youtu.be/rJ8xCSvIurI We’re a proud member of #TeamNEN – between us we cover 100% of England, […]
2016 National Enterprise Network Awards winners announced
Enterprise support excellence recognised in unique awards programme The winners of the 2016 National Enterprise Network awards were announced at the NatWest sponsored National Enterprise Network Annual Conference on Friday 18th November. Winners in seven categories were announced by National Enterprise Network Chairman Graham Marley and facilitator and BBC broadcaster Tanya Beckett at the event held at the RBS Conference Centre in London. A number of highly commended entries were also recognised during the ceremony. Awards were presented to organisations and individuals from within membership of National Enterprise Network; recognising excellence in the delivery of enterprise support and encouraging the exchange of good practice in the following categories for: Enterprise Communicator of the Year, Client Engagement of the Year, Community/Stakeholder Engagement of the Year, Enterprise Team of the Year, Unsung Hero, Future of Enterprise Support Award and Enterprise Support Organisation of the Year. National Enterprise Network received high quality entries from our network of members across each award category – testament to the excellence and achievements across the Network. Andy Lee, Regional Enterprise Manager at NatWest joined NEN Chairman Graham Marley and NEN Chief Executive Dawn Whiteley MBE in judging each entry and choosing the eventual winners. Our Highly Commended […]
Start-ups and small or medium sized enterprises thriving thanks to specialist support
Today National Enterprise Network has released its annual membership impact figures, clearly demonstrating the real value its members are having within the enterprise support sector. The data, relating to activity undertaken by NEN members between April 2015 and March 2016, reflects economical challenges being faced by members, but continues to tell a strong story of growth within the enterprise sector. At its flagship annual conference last week NEN launched a new online campaign. #TeamNEN features a short video which focuses on using this new data to demonstrate the power and strength found within the NEN membership network. Over 80,000 clients supported by NEN members During this survey period, 80,631 clients across England accessed advice, support and training from NEN members. The membership continues to offer excellent geographical coverage, with the whole of the English population able to access support from an NEN member. Furthermore, clients accessing an NEN member tap into a depth of experience that comes from a combined 1,757 years of trading. 364 non-executive directors support the member organisations, a clear demonstration of the integrity and impartiality that makes up the structure of businesses being run by NEN members. A strong focus on the end client The end […]
PARTNER NEWS: LHS Solicitors LLP (LHS) takes the social stage with business leaders
Award-winning law firm LHS has partnered with leading UK business figures to launch an initiative encouraging SMEs to better identify and manage legal and business issues. The fun and educational campaign dubbed “The Game” launches on 28 November and will be played by two teams comprising award-winning entrepreneurs and industry influencers. It is geared towards the release of public subscriptions to elXtr – an innovative digital DIY legal portal from LHS that offers SMEs instant access to more than 1,000 legal tools, guides and templates that could save them thousands in legal costs. “The Game” will see the players battling it out to win an interactive game of draughts. Each move is completed by correctly answering a business question, designed to expose flaws in SME legal knowledge. It will play out on elXtr, Facebook and Twitter. Representing businesses across the UK, high profile players of “The Game” include: Leah Hutcheon, CEO and founder of Appointedd; Dawn Whiteley MBE, chief executive of National Enterprise Network; Jonathan Elliott, CEO of Make it Cheaper; Laura Vanessa Munoz founder of Empowering Futures; Dragon’s Den survivor, turned successful global entrepreneur, Alison Grieve of Safe Tray Products and Ash Phillips, founder, Young Entrepreneurs Network Association. Merlie […]
2016 post conference round up
Post event round up for the enterprise support event of the year Friday 18th November was our annual conference, and what a day it was. We had some fantastic speakers including a very entertaining keynote speaker session from Louise Cooper on the economy and an inspiring session from Paralympian Harriet Lee, showing how in business, just like sport, it is important to know where your weaknesses and limitations lie and learn how to work with them rather than ignore them. In doing that, it makes you stronger as a person, as a brand and as a business. A big thank you to NatWest for sponsoring the day. A few things that might be of interest to those who attend and those who sadly could not make the day. Our online impact: As you know, we encouraged live tweeting during the event. Hundreds of tweets and retweets were published using the #NEN16live hash tag during the event. This online impact has been put into a Storify file for wider review – take a look. We are pleased to confirm #NEN16live was trending on Twitter throughout the day. Thank you to all of you who took part in the live tweeting before, during and post conference. […]
CEO Dawn Whiteley presented with MBE by HRH Prince William on Tuesday 29th November
National Enterprise Network CEO and well known enterprise champion Dawn Whiteley was invited to an exclusive investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 29th November to be presented with her MBE by His Royal Highness Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge. Dawn was confirmed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2016, in recognition of her services to business support and enterprise. The Chief Executive of National Enterprise Network has worked tirelessly in the support of pre start and start-up businesses and of the enterprise support organisations who help them for nearly 25 years. National Enterprise Network is the membership body that represents the enterprise support sector across England – enterprise support organisations providing independent and impartial advice, training and mentoring to new and emerging businesses. Dawn joined the organisation in April 2011 from Business Link Yorkshire, where she was Head of Enterprise, with 16 years before that spent at West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency (WYEA). Dawn started working in the enterprise sector in 1992 and has never looked back – dedicating her professional life to supporting pre starts and start-up businesses locally, regionally and now nationally across […]
NEN retains Customer First standard
The NEN team are delighted to once again retain our compliance against the Putting The Customer First® Standard. As many of our members know, the Standard is a tool for measuring organisational quality and customer service levels. NEN have held the Customer First accreditation for the last six years and are thrilled to have maintained it on two occasions since. Our quality assured members are required to hold the standard, so we of course hold ourselves to the same requirement. We strive to provide services to our membership that are customer focused and of a high quality. By undertaking this assessment we can feel confident that we are accountable to this important statement within our organisation’s values. We know that many of our members are demonstrating high customer service standards themselves on a daily basis, and in fact many have been awarded the Standard too. As a membership organisation, it is important that our own customer service levels are closely scrutinised and validated. Dawn Whiteley commented, “We’ve always valued our involvement with Customer First and are delighted to have achieved the standard for the third time. The standard is a great way for us to look at all areas of […]
Congratulations to Finance for Enterprise
We’re delighted to share the news that one of our members – Finance For Enterprise – has received an award at the 2016 Start Up Loans Conference held in London. Investment Manager Terry Woodhouse was awarded the Spotlight Award, which recognises a member of staff within an organisation with the most contribution, commitment, teamwork and creativity. Andrew Austwick, Fund Manager said, “Terry has been put forward for this award as she consistently contributes the highest level of commitment and support to her Start Up Loan clients. She is an advocate of this scheme and champions the work of Start Up Loans to her growing network and referrers.” “Terry has been instrumental in boosting Finance For Enterprise’s performance over this year. They have continued to outperform targets while maintaining a high quality of service to their clients. Terry is experienced and knowledgeable about the Start Up Loans programme and more importantly passionate about helping others succeed. She is an absolute pleasure to work with!” commented Megan Harvey, Account Manager at Start Up Loans. “I am over the moon to have won this award. To be presented with this for doing the work I love is fantastic. To be able to guide clients through the […]
PARTNER BLOG: Small Business Saturday hailed a great success!
Temperatures may have been in the low digits over the weekend but Saturday saw the UK’s small businesses community benefit from the warmth of the British public who were out in force to support Small Business Saturday. An estimated £717 million was spent with small businesses across the UK, up 15% on Small Business Saturday 2015, with over half (57%) of those aware of the day saying they spent more than usual. Over 80% of all local authorities covering the country actively supported the campaign on the day in a variety of ways, from staging or supporting small business events to offering free parking. Positive consumer sentiment and support to small businesses was echoed through social media. Over 130,000 tweets were sent on the day itself reaching more than 140 million people, with Small Business Saturday UK trending at number one in the UK and at number 5 globally. A huge thank you for supporting Small Business Saturday this year and helping make such a difference to small businesses across the UK.
National Enterprise Network member Colbea sees funding success
National Enterprise Network member, Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea) has been awarded £16,500 by NatWest to deliver dedicated women-only business workshops over the next 18 months. Colbea has won £16,500 of funding through the NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund to launch ‘In the Market for Success’, to provide opportunities for aspiring businesswomen in Colchester and surrounding rural and coastal areas throughout Essex over the next 18 months. Once launched, the women-only business support programme will culminate in delegates test trading their business from Colbea’s ‘New Business’ stalls on the busy Colchester market. ‘In the Market for Success’ is one of 52 winners nationwide from over 800 entries, which attracted more than 24,000 votes from the Great British public. Colbea is one of ten winners in the ‘Midlands and East’ region. Janat Hulston, the Midlands and East Board Chair, says, “We’d like to fund projects that can deliver measurable positive social impacts which help entrepreneurs, and in particular women to start their own businesses.” In 2016, the NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund has committed £2.5m to supporting projects which help to develop employability and entrepreneurial skills, with a further £2.5m allocated for 2017. Colbea’s ‘In the Market for Success’ programme to support […]
Small Business Taskforce publishes New Year wish list
The Small Business Taskforce, a group of 14 organisations including Enterprise Nation that represent a total two million small businesses and self-employed individuals, has published a wish list we hope will strike a chord at the heart of government. The group, which also includes ICAEW, Coadec, NEA and IPSE, came together post-Brexit out of a concern that the appetite to continue to support an entrepreneurial environment that suits smaller firms was disappearing in Whitehall. Our uniting principle is that entrepreneurship and self-starters are good for the economy, that small British businesses should be encouraged and supported to thrive and that the government should back small enterprises. Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation and group spokesperson, said: “We know that government plays an important role in creating the right culture and environment for small businesses to flourish. There are 5.3m businesses in the UK and around 99% of them are SMEs. Acknowledging their important contribution and listening to their concerns will be critical in 2017.” Throughout 2017, we will work on a number of issues including tax, international trade, education and procurement. We today publish a 10 point wish list to offer insight into the needs of smaller companies. Introduction of Export […]
Thoughts on the State of Small Business Britain Conference from Graham Marley
At the end of November last year, Graham Marley attended the 3rd annual State of Small Business Britain Conference, hosted by the Enterprise Research Centre at The Shard in London. The conference was attended by over 100 delegates and was co-hosted with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Programme. The day featured presentations from a mix of academic and policy speakers. New research from the ERC was presented along with topical panel discussions involving speakers from business and local and national policy organisations. Graham Marley attended the conference and in this blog he shares some of his key takeaways from the conference. Professor Mark Hart, Deputy Director of ERC chaired a lively panel discussion reflecting on local growth, with panellists Susanna Lawson (OneFile Ltd), James Phipps (Nesta), Lee Hopley (EEF), and Sarah Middleton (Black Country Consortium Ltd) offering perspectives from the worlds of small business and national and local policy. There were several stimulating questions from the audience which set the tone for a day full of interesting discussion and observation. Professor Hart suggested that in terms of supporting growth, the government should not support start-ups, arguing that you get roughly the same number of start-ups with or without government […]
NEN member wins Growth Champion Award in 2016 NatWest SE100 Awards
‘Let’s Do Business Group’ is a social enterprise that works to provide overall business support to the South East of England. The group has been recognised as a leading social business, winning the Growth Champion Award in the national 2016 NatWest SE100 Awards, announced on the 19th January 2017. The social enterprise is headed up by Graham Marley, who also happens to be the NEN Chairman for 2016-2018. With its origins in Hastings over 20 years ago the Group has developed from an Enterprise Agency and town Chamber of Commerce to become a leading provider of business advice, training, access to finance and business events in the South East. As well as its work directly with businesses, the Group contracts with a range of public and private sector partners to deliver projects and contracts – worth over £10m over the last 10 years. The Growth Champion Award is presented each year to a social venture who has experienced positive financial growth from one year to the next. The award focuses particularly on sustainable and diverse income streams coupled with a sustainable business model. “It is always great to be recognised for an award, particularly when at a National level. I […]
Gateshead Council celebrates another New Enterprise Allowance milestone
The lead authority in the North East for the Government’s scheme have now helped more than 1,800 clients start a business National Enterprise Network (NEN) Member Gateshead Council became the lead authority in the North East for the Government’s New Enterprise Allowance scheme when it launched in January 2015. Since winning the contract, they have celebrated some great successes. After helping the very first business launch as part of the scheme, two years later they have now passed another big milestone. They have now helped over 3,500 clients access the scheme, which provides both financial and practical support as part of a 47 week programme. To date over 1,800 of these have started a business. There is further evidence of their ability to help their clients create sustainable businesses as over 1,200 businesses have continued to thrive past the 6 month point. Sharon Nisbet is the 1,500th participant on NEA to commence trade. Sharon took voluntary redundancy in November 2015 with the view of starting her own business as a Dog Groomer. Sharon stated “redundancy gave me the opportunity to retrain and work in an industry I have a passion for”. Urban Tails Grooming Studio is a Dog Grooming business; […]
NSEA client named ‘one of Britain’s fast growing firms’
NEN member, North Somerset Enterprise Agency (NSEA), are celebrating a double success for one of their clients, based at The Hive, their business centre. Green Frog Connect (GFC), an Independent Connections Provider (ICP) was recently named one of Britain’s fastest growing firms in the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league table. They have also won contracts to build 275MW of new gas fired power stations throughout the UK. GFC was ranked 18th in the prestigious Sunday Times list, released each December, which charts companies with the fastest-growing sales over their latest three years. It has grown its turnover from £1.4 million in 2013/14 to £20.5 million in 2015/16. The company specialises in designing and building high-voltage connections to the national electricity grid and building gas-fired power stations which provide reserve power and, in line with the Government’s policy within the Capacity Market, help ensure that, in the event of blackouts, consumers can continue to access reliable electricity supplies at affordable prices. GFC also assists with electricity connections for all renewable energy projects, whether wind farm, solar park, energy from waste or anaerobic digestion. Green Frog Connect was founded in 2012 by Richard Shearer from North Somerset and Tom Drake from Sheffield, who […]
NEN member, Business Enterprise Fund provides springboard to designer radiator firm
NEN member, Business Enterprise Fund (BEF), are delighted to see one of their clients achieving above expected growth, thanks to support provided by them. Seasoned buyers Paul Johnson and Andrew Smith formed Crimson Bear, a firm that sources high-end radiators and heating solutions for the home from across the world. Paul and Andrew planted the business on the premises of a freight company in Cross Hills, near Skipton. The space was chosen for the on-site warehouse facilities and flexibility for the growing business. With a wealth of knowledge and contacts in the industry, the pair approached the Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) where Investment Manager John Hall arranged finance for initial stock purchases. Paul’s career as a buyer in the Trade and Home Improvement industry allowed him to see a gap in the market for high quality and unique radiators for the home. After persistence in connecting with large players in the market, the Crimson Bear name has gained traction and works closely with B&Q and Victoria Plum bathrooms, supplying part of their range. With positive retailer feedback from their range and growing sales, Paul and Andrew, with their 3 existing employees felt the strain of growing demand. In response they […]
NEN releases a report analysing the relationship between LEPs and Growth Hubs, and enterprise support providers
Report recommends that better working relationships between LEPs and Growth Hubs and NEN members are developed and sustained In 2014 National Enterprise Network (NEN) carried out a first review of the relationship between our members and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). A report of these findings was published in January 2015. Since then, the Growth Hub network has been established and all Growth Hubs now have a web presence to sit alongside their other service offers. Following the completion of the Growth Hub network of local support, we undertook another review to update our earlier work, and to establish the current reality in enterprise support. The context in which the LEPs operate is not static. Since our last review, there has been a change in government from the former Coalition Government to a Conservative administration. There’s of course been a subsequent change in Prime Minister and ministerial team following the referendum result. The first of these changes led to a more austere climate for enterprise support; with the 2015 Autumn Statement removing large parts of the Business Growth Service and a speeding up of the devolution agenda. The new administration has changed the scope and emphasis of the business department and […]
National Enterprise Network announces Chip & PIN Solutions as a new Corporate Partner
National Enterprise Network (NEN) has today announced a corporate partnership agreement with Chip & PIN Solutions, the UK’s leading provider of Card Payment Machines, EPOS Solutions, Merchant Services, E-commerce Packages and Business Cash Advances. The agreement will see Chip & PIN Solutions offering card payment services to NEN members and their clients. Chip & PIN Solutions have a wealth of experience in the SME market. Providing card payments services to thousands of businesses across the UK, from sole traders such as market traders, SMEs across a broad range of industries, to large blue-chip companies with multi-million pound turnovers such as The AA, Virgin Trains, Domino’s Pizza, Weight Watchers and Liverpool Football Club. Chip & PIN Solutions are passionate about supporting the SME market and saw NEN’s unique position in the market as offering the ability to further engage and connect with this sector. Their card payment solutions can provide start-ups and small businesses an affordable and efficient means of taking cashless payments and remaining competitive by offering their customers payment flexibility. Their experience within this market has shown that the ability to accept card payments can dramatically increase sales, and improve business efficiency such as improving cash flow and reducing administrative […]
Dawn Whiteley MBE, Chief Executive at National Enterprise Network, publishes an open letter with her thoughts on the spring 2017 Budget
Like millions of people across the country, I was glued to the live website broadcast of Philip Hammond’s spring 2017 budget statement today. No matter what age, position or background, today’s announcement affects everyone in the country on some level; including the small business community. This community of ambitious, passionate and driven people who are starting and building businesses to contribute to our country’s economy. A community that is supported by the network of National Enterprise Network members across England. We heard today of Britain’s continuing economic growth; growth that small businesses are huge contributors to every year, not to mention the contribution they have made in terms of employment growth over recent years. A good reminder as to the value this key group has across the country and something that small business owners can be very proud of. Along with other membership bodies and lobby groups, I have made numerous representations to HMRC over the last year with regard to Making Tax Digital for Business and the impact this would have on the very smallest businesses. I was therefore pleased to hear of the one year delay for those businesses under the VAT threshold. But – and it’s a […]
The art of survival and the value of enterprise support
NEN member Business Support York and North Yorkshire (BSYNY) were delighted when one of their clients, Bils & Rye, recently celebrated four years of business. The gallery, located in a small rural village of Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire, were referred to Business Support York and North Yorkshire for support when they first launched the business. Four years later, they count the help and advice they received as fundamental to the success of the gallery. The gallery, which specialises in the niche market for world class ceramics and sculpture while also catering for painting lovers, is owned by Nick and Kate Bentley. Since opening four years ago, they have experienced year on year growth and development. Co-owner Nick Bentley commented: “We went to Mike Everitt looking for validation for our idea, we wanted someone to tell us whether it would work in the real world. Mike didn’t give us that, instead he gave us something much more valuable, the steps that enabled us to have confidence to know we were doing the right thing. He was hugely knowledgeable, personable and interested in what we wanted to do – like a wise uncle – and he provided tailored information pertinent to our business, not generic facts. He gave us […]
A networking success story – making connections at our annual conference
One of our core principles is to connect our members with people and projects for greater success. Throughout the year, there are many occasions when we are able to offer connection opportunities to our members. But perhaps one of the most important, is our flagship annual conference. At our 2016 conference, 60% of our delegates cited ‘networking’ as one of their main reasons for attending the conference. It’s clear that this event has value both from an information dissemination point of view, but also as an opportunity for our members to network with their with peers, and other industry stakeholders. So we were delighted when Allen Pluck, Chief Executive of Portobello Business Centre, told us about a connection he’d made with the editor of SME Magazine at our conference last November. After meeting at the conference, Allen was interviewed for the magazine and the story has been featured in a online blog, looking at how his agency is helping SMEs and start-ups in West London. The in-depth interview shares Allen’s thoughts on the challenges facing business start-ups in London, it talks about some of Portobello Business Centre’s biggest success stories and looks to what the future might hold for the business development and enterprise agency. It’s […]
NEN member Nwes welcomes Royal visitor
On Friday 17th March, NEN member Nwes welcomed HRH The Duke of York to its King’s Lynn Innovation Centre. His Royal Highness, who has a number of Entrepreneurship Patronages, works to encourage economic growth. He engages with a broad range of organisations who provide programmes and schemes which facilitate the growth of smaller entrepreneurial ventures and companies, including accelerators and incubators. Kevin Horne, Nwes Chief Executive, commented: “King’s Lynn and West Norfolk is a hotbed for innovation. It’s a place where entrepreneurs and innovators can follow their aspirations and can meet their goals, aims and objectives. The visit to the King’s Lynn Innovation Centre by His Royal Highness Duke of York has helped bring this to the fore.” Kevin described the visit as a “fantastic day” as the Duke was able to speak to every single person, adding: “this will long live in the memory.” Read the full story and view photos from the visit
PARTNER NEWS – British Business Bank and Start Up Loans Company merge to improve opportunities for the UK’s microbusiness community
The British Business Bank, the UK’s national business development bank, and the Start Up Loans Company, a government-backed scheme supporting microbusinesses with access to finance, will merge from today after both boards ratified the joint decision. The merger enables both organisations to collaborate as they seek to support microbusinesses and deliver the Government’s manifesto commitment of 75,000 Start-Up Loans by 2020. It brings several advantages to both organisations; including sharing of expertise, clarity for the small business community and the opportunity to combine approaches used for supporting smaller businesses. The British Business Bank and the Start Up Loans Company have been working closely since 2014. During this period, the Bank has been providing advice to Government on the Start Up Loans programme’s funding, objectives and performance, and overseeing the programme on its behalf. There will be a transition period until 1 July, during which time operations will be brought together. Both the Bank and Start Up Loans Company (SULCo) will stay in their current offices and retain all existing branding with no changes to frontline services. The announcement comes just as SULCo’s total lending figure surpasses £300million this week, after co-founders of The Oystermen, Matt Lovell and Rob Hampton, secured […]
PARTNER BLOG – Get involved in the design of an online tool for Mission-Led Business
What is it? UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs and the law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite are designing an online tool that entrepreneurs running limited companies can use to create company articles and governance that reflect their purpose and NEN are delighted to be partnering on the project. The aim is to make it easy for social entrepreneurs and mission-led businesses to declare and commit to a purpose beyond profit. The tool will cater for start-ups as well as more established businesses, and for businesses that have a primary social purpose as well as those who wish to create social impact alongside commercial goals. The project is a direct response to the recommendations of last year’s Mission-Led Business Review. What is the problem it’s trying to solve? Evidence suggests that 1 in 4 people starting a business want to make it social in some way. The vast majority of businesses use the standard company articles and very few make the most of the flexibility of UK company law to define a purpose beyond profit. Ways of doing this are not always clear and few entrepreneurs are able to access legal help. What will this look like? How will it be […]
Our response to HM Governments ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’ Green Paper April 2017
In January 2017, BEIS published Building our Industrial Strategy Green Paper. The paper sets out how the Government proposes to build a modern industrial strategy. By its nature, the Green Paper is a set of proposals for discussion and consideration, and an invitation to others to contribute collaboratively to their development. So as an organisation, through discussion with individual members, group sessions and our Board, we captured the views of our membership and submitted a response to the paper. At this stage its unclear what, if any, impact the recently announced general election will make to the progress of the green paper – but we’d expect that should a Conservative government be returned it would only result in a delay, rather than any specific change to its passage. A summary of our response is provided below, along with a link to download the full paper. We welcome the Governments plan to adopt an Industrial Strategy and would support much of what is outlined within the Green Paper in terms of the way forward for our economy. We would advocate the adoption of a long term plan which ideally should look to receive cross party support if it is to deliver on its […]
Brexit Britain must not lose £2.4 billion investment in people
National Enterprise Network joins with the Learning and Work Institute and others in calling for successor programmes to European Social Fund (ESF) of at least the same value. We want these to be locally-driven, reduce bureaucracy, integrate services, and better support people and employers to meet their skills and employment needs. We stand at a crossroads with some big decisions to take. The UK is leaving the European Union (EU). We have a strong economy and high employment. But there is much more to do for everyone to share in this prosperity and to meet our future skills needs: 9 million adults in England have low literacy, numeracy or both; some groups, such as disabled people, and areas of the country have much lower employment rates; and 6 million people are in low paid work. We must now grasp a once in a generation chance to invest in our people and tackle these entrenched challenges. Ensuring a replacement for European Social Fund (ESF), due to invest £2.4 billion in England in the six years to 2020, is central to this. Intended to support more than 2 million people by 2020, local ESF projects support adults to improve their life skills, […]
PARTNER BLOG: Time to debate the small business issues
We share a blog from our partner Enterprise Nation who are holding a small business debate this week, read on for more information and to book your place! “In calling a snap General Election, Theresa May caught many off guard and has instigated a rapid rumble of activity from the major parties in pulling plans and manifestos together. In the midst of this, we want to ensure small businesses get a decent view on what each party offers, as well as ensuring the small business voice is heard. For both reasons, we are hosting the General Election small business debate on 18 May and all small firms are invited. Hosted with spokespeople from all the major political parties on Thursday 18 May at ICAEW Great Hall in London, the debate commences at 6.30pm with a digital poll on your voting intentions, runs for an hour, and ends with another vote to see if the panelists have swayed your vote. The debate is a two-way conversation. It offers opportunity for the parties to outline their policies for small business, and offers you opportunity to ask your questions of the parties. When you register for a free ticket, you can include your question. Whichever […]
Enterprise, the Economy and Society – an enterprise manifesto statement published by National Enterprise Network
National Enterprise Network, the membership body for enterprise support organisations, has published “Enterprise, the Economy and Society – an enterprise manifesto statement from National Enterprise Network”. As the membership body representing the enterprise support sector across England, National Enterprise Network have set out three clear areas of enterprise which they believe any new Government should acknowledge. Each and every enterprise support organisation within their network has demonstrated its commitment to local enterprise and business development by staying true to their mission for more than 30 years. Their resolve is strong and their passion is clear. NEN believe that the new Government needs to appreciate their insights and understand its importance. The three enterprise policies they want to see acknowledged are: 1. Belief in the value of local support 2. The credibility of all start ups – regardless of size or potential 3. Admission of potential issues presented by the removal of EU funds The three key policies focus on the value of enterprise locally and nationally. NEN believes in the value of local support and looks at the importance of, and impact being made by their members within their local economies. They highlight how their members are positioned as true […]
Small Business Taskforce manifesto calls on next government to promote prosperity and fairness for all
The Small Business Taskforce, of which National Enterprise Network is a member, is asking the next government to back small British businesses. The Taskforce are making six recommendations to deliver a more productive economy and fairer society. Small firms are well placed to build an economy that works for everyone, in all places of the UK. They need the support of the winning government to achieve this. In summary, the recommendations are: 1. Provide an environment which champions the role of small businesses Recognise the positive and powerful role played by SMEs in the UK Ensure ministerial commitment with appointment of a small business minister 2. Provide a taxation system supportive of all businesses, large and small Commit to a stable and certain tax system that encourages business investment and growth Ensure that a digital tax system puts the need of businesses first The tax system is far too complicated and needs radical simplification 3. Provide business support which is collaborative and adds value Champion public/private partnerships in business support Launch Export Vouchers Re-instate Spaces for Growth programme Support the creation of a single site for SMEs 4. Provide a pensions and benefits system that supports when needed Consider viability of pension enrolment for self-employed Review impact […]
NEN member, Erewash Partnership, launches new entrepreneur programme
NEN Member, Erewash Partnership have recently launched a new, free programme of help for would-be entrepreneurs based in Derbyshire. The starter workshops and mentoring support is being delivered on behalf of East Midlands Chamber as part of a county-wide initiative that is funded by Derbyshire County and Derby City Councils and Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership. Experienced professionals will lead the workshops which will cover a range of subjects including understanding your market and how to reach it, business planning, bookkeeping, and starting with social media. The Partnership has an excellent record of helping people start businesses, nurturing them while they develop and continuing to give advice and help once established. Now in its 23rd year of supporting enterprise, the Partnership has signed a new three-year service level agreement with Erewash Borough Council to help regenerate the area’s economy. In the last three years, it helped 275 businesses set up in Erewash and Amber Valley. To do that it delivered over 1,600 advisory sessions. It also helped more than 500 established businesses. Regeneration projects managed by the Partnership have brought more than 32,000 sq ft of disused commercial space back into use, including its own prominent headquarters in Long Eaton […]
NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund – good news for two members!
We’re delighted to announce that that NEN Members Let’s Do Business Group and North Somerset Enterprise Agency were both successful in the latest round of funding from the NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund. Let’s Do Business Group will be using the grant for their Business Builder project – a project comprising of an innovative series of start-up workshops, mentoring support, online training and specialist advice for deprived communities. While North Somerset Enterprise Agency will now be able to progress their Be Your Own Boss project. They will be working with individuals from some of the most deprived estates in North Somerset and providing them with an opportunity to consider self-employment as a career option. More about the NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund
PARTNER BLOG: Alone Together – Why It’s Time The Self-Employed Joined Forces To Overcome Adversity
A new report from the RSA and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) calls for a movement of mass self-organising among the self-employed – in this partner blog Benedict Dellot from the RSA tells us more….. Whether it’s cash-pooling schemes or micro finance initiatives, sick pay funds or time share agreements, the scope for bottom-up initiatives to improve the lives of the self-employed is vast. Here we give an overview of the report’s findings. A little over 15 years ago, a small group of Dutch freelancers in Utrecht came together to create their own collective sick pay fund. This Broodfonds, or ‘Bread Fund’ as it is known in English, worked on the basis that members would contribute money into an account every month, which could then be drawn upon if they fell sick. It was to be distinct from typical income protection insurance in several ways. Applicants to the scheme would not have to complete medical checks, and they would be free to leave at any point and take a portion of their contributions with them. On top of this, a person’s claim would be judged by peers in their group rather than by a distant algorithm or adjudicator. Observers […]
Guest blog – New research shows SMEs unprepared to recover from an ‘inevitable’ cyber-attack
1 in 3 believe a cyber-attack on their business is a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ Nearly 1 in 5 (18%) of businesses say the threat of cybercrime keeps them awake at night While the threat of cybercrime is at the forefront of SME owners’ minds, ‘cyber recovery’ is not, according to a new study, The Business of Cyber Recovery, by PolicyBee. Click on the image on the right to view a full-size version of the infographic showing highlights from the research. Five hundred UK SMEs were asked about their preparedness for cybercrime and its aftermath: one in three believe that a cyber-attack on their business is a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’, and quarter believe an attack is ‘likely’. However: 74% have not put any budget aside to deal with the aftermath. 43% will react if and when a cyber-attack happens and have absolutely no plans in place. Just 14% of all SMEs have a detailed plan which covers all bases and crucially have tested that plan. Sarah Adams, cyber insurance expert, who commissioned the study for PolicyBee, said: “Large corporates will all have a ‘what if’ plan in place that has been stress tested via a crisis simulation […]
CEO of Newcastle-based enterprise organisation wins leading entrepreneurship award
We’re delighted to share the news that Dr Dawn Cranswick, Chief Executive of NEN member PNE Group, has been recognised with a prestigious business award. Dawn was named the North winner of the ‘Building a Better Working World’ accolade at the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award ceremony. Dawn is a member of our Board, and has been involved in NEN activity over many years. We’re very proud to see her efforts recognised. The annual event, which is currently in its 19th year, recognises the spirit and contribution of exceptional entrepreneurs, and celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses. Rachel Clacher, founder of telecommunications business Money Penny, presented the award, which was given to Dawn in recognition of her work dedicated to enabling positive social and economic change, both in the North East and around the world. Commenting on the award she received, Dawn said: “It is an honour for me to have been recognised with the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in the ‘Building a Better Working World’ category. Using an entrepreneurial approach to create social and economic value is at the heart of everything we do at PNE Group, and it is […]
Businesses affected by the Grenfell Tower fire left struggling without coordinated support
NEN Member, Portobello Business Centre rallies for support for businesses affected by the Grenfell Tower fire Like the whole country, we were shocked and saddened by the Grenfell Tower disaster on 14 June and its continuing ramifications. In the days that followed, when the true scale of the tragedy became apparent, we were heartened to see the response of the local and wider community as they worked tirelessly to provide practical support to all those affected. Just one day after the fire, we were contacted by one of our members – Portobello Business Centre (PBC) – whose Ladbroke Grove office is located only a mile from Grenfell Tower. Chief Executive Allen Pluck got in touch to highlight the fact that local businesses had also been impacted by the fire, and were also in need of support. Allen shared with us the news that PBC had clients operating businesses out of Grenfell Tower. Very sadly, a few days later Allen confirmed that some of the people they were already working with had lost their lives in the fire, as well as their families. It was also becoming clear that businesses operating within the cordon were facing challenges, and that there was a […]
Good Work? Our CEO’s views on The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices
We all know good and well that the way we work has changed over the years – with employers and employees alike being much more aware of their obligations and opportunities. Whilst in many cases these opportunities have been positive, for some they have been less so, so it’s no surprise that we have a new report looking at modern working practices. Published on 11th July 2017, the report was produced by former Tony Blair policy adviser and current CEO of the RSA, Matthew Taylor. The report was commissioned shortly after Theresa May became Prime Minister in 2016. In the latest Small Business Taskforce meeting, which I attended on Thursday 27th July, the report was certainly a talking point. Generally, the consensus since launch is that the report findings could have been more controversial – however, Taylor was clear in light of the current political landscape he wanted the report findings and recommendations to be easily achievable without considerable legislation and to gain some government consensus. This wasn’t designed to be pie in the sky thinking, but to offer a genuine opportunity for realistic awareness and potential change. What did I think? Well it is good to see […]
Programme launched for 2017 National Enterprise Network Conference
National Enterprise Network (NEN) has today officially launched its annual conference – Enterprise Impact 2017. Taking place on Friday 1st December, the conference is supported and hosted by Natwest for the third year and will take place at RBS head office in London. The format for the day has been revised so that alongside plenary sessions there will be the addition of a number of exciting breakout sessions. These will provide a more informal and relaxed delivery of learning; whilst offering delegates plenty of ideas and knowledge to take away to implement in their organisations and in their client discussions. Sessions focus on relevant topic areas such as Artificial Intelligence, advancements in payment techonology, where enterprise fits in with current Government Policy and property management. The main conference will include interesting and motivational speakers addressing the bigger economic picture focussing on the impacts to small business and enterprise; with details on other contributors to be released in the coming weeks. The conference will also include the annual National Enterprise Network Awards – to recognise the work of its members and associaties in the exceptional delivery of enterprise support services. This year the awards celebrate 10 years and in that time […]
Guest blog – Chip & PIN Solutions
Earlier this year, we announced a corporate partnership with Chip & PIN Solutions, the UK’s leading provider of Card Payment Machines, EPOS Solutions, Merchant Services, E-commerce Packages and Business Cash Advances. Chip & PIN Solutions have prepared a guest blog for us, which looks at how their products have helped a small business. How Holme Grown saved £1,000’s in card processing rates by switching to Chip & PIN Solutions The Payne family have been growing tomatoes for 100 years in the Vingtaine of La Rocque. Over the years, the business has grown into a local retail outlet known as Holme Grown and now encompasses a range of services, and an onsite café serving delicious homemade food, where customers can sample their local produce. The shift from cash to card payments In terms of card payments, Holme Grown have always seen the benefits in accepting card payments. Over the years, Operations Manager, Charlie Payne, has witnessed a huge shift from cash to card payments. As a result in offering flexible payment options, business turnover has significantly increased. “Accepting card payments, provides customers with payment choices other than cash. By offering flexible payment methods, it should always guarantee a sale”. (Operations Manager, Charlie […]
Congratulations to Business West Chambers of Commerce!
We’re delighted to send our congratulations to #TeamNEN member, Business West Chambers of Commerce. They were one of five chambers that walked away as World Chambers Competition champions, winning the Best Job Creation and Business Development project, which aims to maximise international trade as a means of benefitting business in South West England. They beat stiff competition in their category from Colombia, Turkey, Philippines and Iran. Organised by the ICC World Chambers Federation, this year’s World Chambers Competition was held in Sydney. The only awards programme of its kind, the biennial Competition originally received 53 applications from chambers, representing 27 countries. Recognising chambers for their forward-looking approaches to solve some of today’s global challenges, 18 finalists competed across four diverse categories, each presenting their ground-breaking initiatives to an international judging panel, and many of the 1,000 delegates attending the biennial Congress. James Monk, Commercial Director of Business West said: “We are delighted to win this award as recognition of achieving almost ½ billion pounds worth of additional export sales and creating nearly 4000 new jobs. The launch of our International Trade Centre was instrumental in helping Business West to achieve a 40% increase in our website traffic, 250% more potential first […]
NEWS: Forget Talk Of Mass Automation. The UK Needs To Ramp Up Investment In AI Or Be Left Behind
You may be aware the government recently launched its review on artificial intelligence (here) The report, produced by Dame Wendy Hall and Jerome Pesenti, calls for a concerted effort to make the UK one of the best places in the world to develop and deploy AI. The review presents a series of sensible ideas – among them to expand Masters and PhD places in computer science, establish Data Trusts that would share best practice on how to make use of dormant data, and create an AI Council that would advise firms on how to spot AI investment opportunities. Please spread the word and have a look if you haven’t already. The Review does what many other studies on AI do not: it presents a compelling and optimistic vision for using AI to boost productivity, raise living standards and tackle our greatest challenges, from combating climate change to managing an ageing society. You can learn more about AI at our conference coming up on 1st December, more detail here. You can read what our friends at the RSA think of the Review here.
2017 National Enterprise Network Awards – Shortlist announced!
National Enterprise Network is pleased to announce the shortlist of entries for the 2017 National Enterprise Network awards – a programme established in 2007 to recognise excellence in the delivery of enterprise support, encouraging the exchange of good practice and the development of improved services and organisations.
Century of Businesses gather to celebrate entrepreneurship in Colchester
Close to a hundred local businesses gathered at Wivenhoe House, Colchester on Wednesday 18 October to celebrate the work of the NEN member Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea) for 2016-17. Guests included the Mayor and Mayoress of Colchester, Councillor Gerard Oxford and his wife Councillor Beverley Oxford, alongside sponsors, supporters, tenants and those businesses Colbea has supported in recent years. Among these was guest speaker Jenny Parrett from Woofs’n’Wiggles, who started her business in 2015 as one of the first delegates on Colbea’s ‘Small Steps, Big Changes’ programme. Today Jenny is an award-winning business owner, as her day care centre for dogs – Colchester’s first – flourishes in the town. Over the 2016-17 period, Colbea delivered 1,289 business support services to local businesses, including business advice, mentoring and training and assisted in the creation of more than 70 new businesses. Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford, Chief Executive, welcomed guests to the event and thanked Colbea’s staff, sponsors, and patrons, saying: “We are delighted that you could join us to celebrate a year of many achievements. It is thanks to your ongoing support that we are able to support and enable local businesses right from pre-start stage, and advise them through their business growth.” […]
Rain can’t dampen the spirits of new entrepreneurs in Colchester
Businesswomen who had participated in a start-up support course run by NEN member Colbea (Colchester Business Enterprise Agency) took their new business ideas to the public at a recent Saturday High Street Market in Colchester. Twenty aspiring businesswomen braved the wet weather to sell their new business ideas, ranging from counsellors, plumbers and hairdressers, to natural birth experts, training for technophobes and pre-loved clothing boutiques. Each was taking to the marketplace thanks to a test trading opportunity provided by ‘In the Market for Success,’ a start-up support course delivered by the Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea). In the Market for Success Lead Trainer Frin Arnold, who says, “It was a great day, in spite of the weather, as our new entrepreneurs learned the important business lesson of adapting to the situation! Every one of them stayed positive and sold their new business with passion.” Colbea is able to deliver ‘In the Market for Success’ for only a refundable deposit of £60 thanks to funding through the Natwest Skills and Opportunities grant. To sign up for the next course or find out more, visit www.colbea.co.uk/im4s
Autumn Budget 2017 – NEN’s view
On Wednesday 22nd November 2017, Philip Hammond presented his Autumn Budget to Parliament. Dawn Whiteley, National Enterprise Network’s CEO shares her view on the impact this budget will have on the enterprise sector. “For our members and their clients, this budget is perhaps relevant more for what it didn’t do, than what it did. The rumours about a change to the VAT threshold didn’t materialise. There was no IR35 extension to the private sector, and no changes were announced to the plans for the implementation of Making Tax Digital. Most businesses will be happy to see some changes to Business Rates, the end of the staircase tax and the additional support being offered to assist those affected by revaluations. The Enterprise Finance Guarantee, which facilitates loans to small businesses that are viable but are unable to obtain finance due to insufficient security to meet the lender’s normal requirements, will be extended to March 2022 and expanded to up to £500m of loans per year. It will also take on new lenders and offer a new asset finance option. This should be welcome news to those of our members already EFG accredited or looking to become so. The Government will instruct […]
Nwes building receives accolade for its King’s Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC)
NEN Member, Nwes, were celebrating again after receiving another accolade for the recently constructed King’s Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC). The 2017 regional Constructing Excellence award for ‘Client of the Year’ was presented to Strategic Director, John Balch, at the Norfolk Constructing Excellence Club AGM held at the Assembly Rooms in Norwich. As a regional award winner, Nwes was a finalist for the Constructing Excellence National Awards, the winners of which were announced at a ceremony in London on 17th November. Constructing Excellence has a clear vision for the industry to deliver excellence through collaboration, with the firm belief that industry improvement will be driven by all sectors sharing, learning, working together and driving innovation to deliver a better built environment. The organisation is funded and governed nationally by corporate membership from leading edge clients, contractors, consultants, manufacturers and others committed to improving the industry’s performance. They strive to maintain and support the highest levels of innovation, best practice and productivity, and represent the leading construction businesses and industry professionals across the country. Nwes was nominated for the award by Feilden & Mawson, architects for the prestigious development of KLIC, and the honour was yet further recognition for Nwes’ flagship innovation and […]
2017 National Enterprise Network Awards winners announced
The winners of the 2017 National Enterprise Network awards were announced at the NatWest supported National Enterprise Network Annual Conference on Friday 1st December.
National Enterprise Network Annual Conference 2017 – Speaker slides
Thank you for attending the 2017 National Enterprise Network Conference, supported by NatWest. We hope the conference met your expectations and you enjoyed all the additional networking and knowledge building sessions this year. As promised here are some of the fantastic breakout presentations from the event, more will follow, so please watch this space! Presentations from the day… Daren Pickering – WorldPay NEN 2017 Tom Fox UnLtd slides NEN 2017 Daniel Harrison – BEIS NEN 2017
A parting word from ex-CEO Dawn Whiteley MBE
As you know my almost seven years with National Enterprise Network came to an end today, I started as Interim CEO in April 2011 with an intention to serve a six month contract, and look what happened! It’s fair to say that not having been sure whether I would take to a role with a national profile and a national commitment – I have loved every minute of it (well almost)! I’ve worked in the enterprise support sector for almost 26 years; I joined an enterprise agency in April 1992 as an office administrator and worked my way to being General Manager of, what was then, one of the largest enterprise agencies in the country – from that I went on to work for sub-regional and regional Business Links and then here to NEN. I knew many of you already then, I knew the great jobs you do to support clients from all sorts of backgrounds, to start and run businesses of all shapes and sizes; I knew this because I’d done so much of it myself and found it to be some of the most rewarding work, I think, you could ever do! I knew I was enthusiastic and passionate […]
Two new Directors join our Board
At our AGM on Friday 1st December we announced two new Director appointments, following membership elections. Paula Foreman from Finance For Enterprise (FFE) and Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford from Colbea Enterprise Agency were confirmed as new Directors to the Board. Paula is Operations Manager at Doncaster-based Finance For Enterprise which is a long established Enterprise Agency in the region. Over the past thirty years FFE has become a well-respected and successful Enterprise Agency, a Community Development Finance Institution and a key provider of advice and finance helping both new start and established businesses. Paula has worked in Business Support for over 20 years and is passionate about helping new and established businesses grow and develop, she is very much looking forward to continuing to contribute in her role at National Enterprise Network. Ashleigh is a driving force behind enterprise in the Colchester area. Working in partnership is at the core of her values and believes that embedding entrepreneurship skills in schools and colleges is the best way to give young people the head start that they need. Prior to joining Colbea, Ashleigh spent years in the business support arena as Assistant CEO of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, where she led the […]
#EnterpriseImpact Member Toolkit
Thank you for supporting our campaign! In order to spread our campaign as far and as wide as possible, we need your help! To make things easy for you, here’s a toolkit of everything you need to get involved. Share NEN’s press release and infographic We’re written a press release about our #EnterpriseImpact campaign which is accompanied by an infographic. If you can only spare 2 minutes – please give our press release and infographic a retweet or share on Facebook. Download a full size version png of the infographic Download a pdf version of the infographic Share the campaign’s social media graphics and our suggested text We have created a series of graphics to highlight five key statistics that demonstrate your Enterprise Impact. Each is available to download as either a jpg or png file. We have also created an animated gif which contains all of the graphics in one place and is ideal for sharing on Twitter. Download the animated gif 1. The strong demand for services – 80,555 clients Download full size jpeg Download full size png Suggested accompanying text We’re proud to be part of #TeamNEN – Last year together we supported 80,555 clients. A […]
#TeamNEN are making a strong and clear impact on enterprise, in spite of economic challenges and uncertainty.
2016-2017 was a challenging year for NEN and many of our members, with few unaffected by the political and economic changes which characterised this time. However, today NEN has launched a campaign which aims to highlight some of the very positive and visible signs of hope coming out of the enterprise sector during this same period. #EnterpriseImpact uses data collected from our membership during 2016-17 to tell a strong story of: High demand for enterprise support services, in spite of a challenging economy An excellent survival outlook for new and small businesses, who receive support from #TeamNEN An economy that is being boosted by clients supported by #TeamNEN Key data presented in our campaign infographic reveals: 1. 80,555 clients (50% pre-start, 50% established businesses) were helped by #TeamNEN during 2016/2017 80,000 were helped in 2015/2017 clearly showing that demand remains high year on year. 2. #TeamNEN provide completely inclusive client support – during 2016/2017 50% were female, 19% came from an ethnic background, 19% were based in rural areas, 21% were aged 16-29, 55% were aged 30-49 and 24% were aged 50+. Because our membership is based in geographically diverse locations throughout England, they are supporting a very broad spectrum […]
Concern over fall in new business start ups – NEN’s response
The Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE) is reporting a significant fall in business start-up rates in 2017. In 2016 the number of business start-ups was 657,790 and in 2017 it reduced to 589,008 – a dramatic fall of 68,782. CFE’s view is that the majority of the reduction is down to the Government’s clampdown on ‘disguised employment among public sector workers’ – this is where contractors have previously been used in the place of employees. However, more concerning is the CFE suggestion that there is an underlying reduction in start-up numbers which they put down to ‘ the cumulative effect of business rate rises and other regulatory burdens, combined with muted encouragement of entrepreneurs from the current government’. Graham Marley, Chair of National Enterprise Network said of the report, “The findings of the CFE report are both interesting and concerning. The start-up figures over the last few years have become increasingly distorted, however I believe there is an underlying issue. In recent years with cuts to both national and local government budgets, support to start-ups has decreased. Enterprise Agencies around the country are working hard to provide support. In our last Impact Report, they supported over 40,000 people thinking about starting […]
The Duke of York continues to support business and entrepreneurship
On Monday 22nd January the Duke of York, founder of Pitch@Palace and a keen supporter of entrepreneurship, made a return visit to NEN member Nwes’ flagship King’s Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC) which offers long-awaited state-of-the-art commercial workspace, business support, access to finance, and business events to start-up and growing businesses in West Norfolk. The visit to KLIC is another example of how His Royal Highness continues to engage with those providing programmes and schemes to facilitate the growth of smaller entrepreneurial ventures and companies, including accelerators and incubators. The Duke of York was impressed to learn of the growth of Nwes itself since his visit in March 2017. The organisation has fully integrated into the London market and more recently expanded to cover East Midlands. Pitch@Palace works with entrepreneurs to support the amplification and acceleration of their activities and engages with a broad range of organisations who share his passion to support business growth. Founded by His Royal Highness in 2014, Pitch@Palace recognises the profound role that entrepreneurship is playing, and will continue to play in the future of the United Kingdom and global economy. The programme gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet the people who can help make their business […]