The state-funded business support system in the UK has been reformed twice during the last 15 years. Now, with Business Link and Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) scrapped, the system is being reshaped again. There is certainly no shortage of business support initiatives. There are currently 900 local and national, public and private support schemes in the UK, but the current offer is not well structured. At the national level alone, more than 10 government departments and non-governmental bodies are in charge of delivering different schemes. This level of complexity and lack of structure means that the business support system is hard to navigate, evaluate or manage.
This briefing presents a structured review of the business support initiatives offered by the Government, and identifies the key questions that need to be urgently addressed if the system is to improve.