There were almost 500,000 start-ups last year—the highest number since records began in 1997, up from 360,000 in 2010. We are helping to encourage business start-ups by providing advice and financial support, and confidence that the Government will pay their way.
I recently visited Warwickshire college’s Rugby site to talk to students at the Peter Jones enterprise academy, and I joined them on the “StartUp Britain” bus. Thirty years ago I started a business without any formal training, and it would have been of great value to me if those resources had been available then; I might have made fewer mistakes in the early days of running my business. Does the Minister agree that these schemes are a great way to ensure that our young people get the vital skills they need to help get new businesses started effectively?
Absolutely. I too have visited a Peter Jones academy, and they are a brilliant new innovation. The new start-up loans provide finance and support for young entrepreneurs to help them get a start, and we need to do all that we can to support people who want to start up businesses.
In addition to making it easier for people to start up their own business, what steps are the Government taking through the tax system to encourage investment in small business?
We have sharply increased the enterprise investment scheme limit and we will do all that we can to support people who work hard and want to get on in life and start their own business. As well as making investment in small companies easier, we also stopped the planned increase in the small business rate and we are cutting business taxes. We are doing everything we can to get Britain working.