Simply Business helps pave way for subsidised business support

Simply Business is proud to sponsor a new online marketplace offering small businesses access to subsidised professional advice.

The Growth Vouchers Marketplace is part of a £30 million government initiative that aims to connect small businesses with advisors who can help kickstart growth. Under the scheme qualifying businesses will receive up to £2,000 in government support to help them access the advice they need.

Simply Business is sponsoring the Marketplace – the first online destination that links small businesses with professional advisors. The Marketplace will launch on 20 January, with the Growth Vouchers Programme following a week later – but small businesses and advisors can already sign up.

Growth Vouchers will be offered to qualifying businesses on a random basis, and firms will be able to spend them with advisors that are accredited by a relevant trade association. Non-accredited advisors will also be able to sign up for the Marketplace, which will remain online after the Vouchers Programme ends in March 2015, and will continue to provide a network through which businesses will be able to find strategic advice on key topics such as financial management, recruitment, leadership skills, sales and marketing, and digital technology.

Businesses will be able to rate suppliers through the Marketplace, with firms encouraged to give feedback on the service they receive.

The government will monitor a randomised control group of Growth Voucher recipients, and will use the results to develop a better understanding of the effect of business advice on growth, and the wider economic implications of government intervention.

The Marketplace has been built by business network Enterprise Nation. The network’s Emma Jones said: “We will match businesses with suppliers on a case-by-case basis. Advice could be in the form of a phone call, a web-based seminar, or face-to-face.

“The Treasury has put £30 million aside to subsidise business support. We pitched to build the Marketplace and said we would rather build it at no cost to the taxpayer, so we went to our corporate sponsors and said, ‘Will you back us?’ It has been built in four and a half months.”

Advisors and small businesses looking for advice can now sign up for the Marketplace before its launch.

About Simply Business

Simply Business is the UK’s biggest business insurance provider, specialising in public liability insurance for SMEs and landlord insurance.

Launched in 2005, Simply Business provides an online brokerage service delivering policies tailored to individual business requirements. It has a team of UK based insurance specialists and employs almost 300 people across offices in London and Northampton.

Simply Business provides insurance to more than 400,000 UK SMEs and landlords and owing to its internal underwriting capability can cover over 1,000 trade types. It has been a Sunday Times Tech Track 100 company for the past three years and was recently named in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA. Revenues have grown from £4.2 million in 2006, to £25.4 million in 2014, and the company has been named 2015 and 2016 winners of The Sunday Times’ Best Company to Work For.