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Say Adios To The Business Link Quango

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It seems strange that a business quango as utterly useless as this felt the need to hire as many as 1,600 to start with. After all, isn't the website a simple copy of Direct Gov..?

http://www.businesszone.co.uk/topic/business-trends/business-links-close-november-government-unveils-new-support-measures/32492?ref=ukbf

The regional elements of enterprise support service Business Link will close by 25 November with its paid advisers replaced by thousands of volunteer mentors, the government has revealed.

As part of a major overhaul of its business support structure, ministers said entrepreneurs previously served by England's Business Link advice centres will by supported by improved online services and a contact centre.

The main Business Link website will be relaunched in April with new features including a "Business Startup Hub" providing access to company registration, a searchable database of government contracts, online training tools and "better, clearer information" on regulation. A national contact centre to help businesses who cannot find the information they need on the web or who are not connected to the internet will also be set up.

Business Link's 1,600 paid advisers meanwhile will be replaced by a network of 40,000 unpaid mentors who the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said will offer "practical advice to existing businesses and people who want to start a business".

It is expected that the mentors will be confirmed by June when an online "Mentoring Gateway" will go live. Among the organisations talking to the government about providing mentors are Ecademy, Horsesmouth and the Prince's Trust.

The unemployed are also being targeted as future entrepreneurs with the introduction of the National Enterprise Allowance (NEA). It will be launched in Merseyside later this month and rolled out nationwide in the Autumn. Around £50m is expected to be available.

The NEA will give people who have been unemployed financial support for their early months of self-employment, access to a start-up loan, and a mentor. The government claims up to 40,000 new businesses will be created through the scheme by 2013.

"Throughout this year and beyond we will be focused relentlessly on supporting growth and driving job creation across our economy," said prime minister David Cameron.

"Backing new enterprises to start up and small businesses to grow will be what transforms our economy and will deliver the many thousands of new jobs we will see created this year.

"It is vital that we ensure businesses, and those people who find themselves out of work but have the drive and desire to set up their own business, have all the advice, support and mentoring they need. Together we can make the years ahead some of the most dynamic and entrepreneurial in our history."

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Ive delt with these guys a lot recently and i have to say i have nothing but good things to say about the advisors ive spoken to - they all ran/run their own businesses etc and actually have the practical experience, where its going to be replaced by a call centre populated by people who know next to fvck all reading from scripts - good job.

Also the governments contract site is a joke and always has been and im pretty sure will continue to be.

I have to add that the current sites are shocking and impossible to find anything of worth usualy as the search is crap, im guessing that it won't improve when its re-vamped.

Edited by fuse

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They are probably more useful than this National Enterprise Allowance will be.

My experience is that the BL website is an essential first stop in an era of crazy over regulation.

Their advisors tend to reel off lists of names and things to try to improve your business, when what you re missing is the time, money or people with the nouse to implement the ideas.

I think this Enterprise Allowance malarkey was tried in the 80s, £40 a week? but did any sensible businesses actually spring out of it? Certainly one never hears of Mr Dyson or Mr Branson citing an EA as their springboard to success.

It's more for show shine boys or scouser chancers.

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They are probably more useful than this National Enterprise Allowance will be.

My experience is that the BL website is an essential first stop in an era of crazy over regulation.

Their advisors tend to reel off lists of names and things to try to improve your business, when what you re missing is the time, money or people with the nouse to implement the ideas.

I think this Enterprise Allowance malarkey was tried in the 80s, £40 a week? but did any sensible businesses actually spring out of it? Certainly one never hears of Mr Dyson or Mr Branson citing an EA as their springboard to success.

It's more for show shine boys or scouser chancers.

Mr Branson started life as a millionaire already.

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It's more for show shine boys or scouser chancers.

These days it's all about cupcakes. We have two new cupcake shops round the corner. We'll be getting a few more I reckon.

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I started my business with the help of Business Link about 10 - 12 years ago.

None of us ever got the few grand start up money we were promised for doing the courses (though they will have got paid

thousands for each of us doing the courses), but the training & support was valuable.

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Businesslink were utterly useless. In all respects. Not sad to see them go (mind you I only dealt with a couple of people in the North East).

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It seems strange that a business quango as utterly useless as this felt the need to hire as many as 1,600 to start with.

Maybe they had a lot of friends on facelessbook who needed jobs.

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