Boost for budding entrepreneurs
Internet pioneer Nick Ogden, founder of WorldPay and Voice Commerce Group in Cambridge, has launched business.co.uk, a non-for-profit online portal designed to encourage British entrepreneurs to set up and start running their own businesses.
Business.co.uk is a unique portal providing start-ups with immediate access to discounts, offers and incentives through a rapidly growing number of partnerships. Companies offering incentives include BT Group, School for Startups, NatWest, easyJet, AXA Insurance, Fasthosts Internet Ltd and RJJ Freight Ltd – all of which have developed individual programmes to encourage and support business starts ups in the UK. Business.co.uk intends to develop the portal further by adding interactive consumer services that will encourage entrepreneurs to take the leap of setting up a new business. These services will allow them to search and buy products and services from other UK based business at a regional and local level, thereby supporting UK trade. Ogden said: “Small firms contribute more than 49 per cent of the UK turnover (FSB October 2010) and are therefore the lifeblood of the UK economy. “Off the back of recent Government initiatives, including the expansion of the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA), I have encouraged many established companies to get on board with business.co.uk and offer financial incentives to help create an environment that fosters new business growth. “So far, support has been overwhelming and it is our aim that through this portal and its many partner firms we can not only encourage start-ups but also equip them with the tools necessary to succeed.” Doug Richard, founder of School for Startups said: “Peer-to-peer networking by new business owners is critical to their success. Business.co.uk strives to create a network of mutually supportive startups and small businesses and simultaneously invites the UK to spend their money domestically rather than sending it abroad. Good for UK entrepreneurs, good for their communities, a good effort all round.” Nick Ogden has helped thousands of start-up internet businesses by providing them with payment processing systems over the last 14 years. Cashflows, part of the Voice Commerce Group, continues to provide this service to business today.• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Nick Ogden