Government backs £2m Growth Vouchers in small businesses two months after programme launch

Over 1000 UK firms have received vouchers from £30m business advice pot so far

The £30m government-led Growth Voucher programme has announced that is has issued the first £2m worth of vouchers to over 1000 small businesses to help them “access advice to grow”.

Launched two months ago, the programme aims to sign up 20,000 eligible start-ups over the next 12 months with vouchers worth up to £2,000 which can be used to purchase strategic advice from Enterprise Nation’s marketplace, providing access to 3000 advisors across five areas including finance, technology, and marketing.

Ran as a randomised controlled trail (RCT) by the department for business, innovation and skills (DBIS) and the behavioural insights team in Cabinet Office, the scheme is said to be one of the largest government research project of its kind conducted to find out what business advice helps “small businesses overcome the barriers to growth”.

The progress of every early-stage company that participates in the programme will be monitored over the next two to three years to validate the research.

The Growth Vouchers programme runs until March 2015 and is open to any UK company which has been running for at least one year, has fewer than 49 employees, and hasn’t sought strategic advice in the last three years.

Skills and enterprise minister, Matt Hancock, said: “The Growth Vouchers programme is unique in that it will help businesses access support services while providing scientific data on the exact benefit of tailored advice.

“We are determined to help small businesses grow and thrive – this is not only the surest way to create jobs but the research will show us how to best target support for future entrepreneurs and small businesses. That is why we are providing funding to help small business access this support.

“The response from businesses and providers in just the first two months has been fantastic.”

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