HC Deb 19 July 2004 vol 424 cc54-5W
Mr. Hepburn

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent steps her Department has taken to help people start their own business. [184518]

Nigel Griffiths

The Government Action Plan for Small Business published in January 2004 sets out a series of actions government is taking to help people start their own businesses. This builds upon the provision from the Business Link network of high quality information advice and support. The Business Link Network assisted 170,000 people last year (in England) to start businesses. New actions being taken includeA programme of Enterprise Show activities: The objective is to encourage higher levels of entrepreneurship particularly among under-represented groups and people from disadvantaged areas. These activities taking place across England are being co-ordinated by the Regional Development Agencies. The establishment of the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship: This has been established to raise the profile of entrepreneurship and starting a business as a viable career option for graduates. The objective is to increase the number of graduates who consider starting their own businesses.

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