StartUp Britain bus tour to boost start-up rate to 600,000 in 2015

National enterprise campaign, StartUp Britain will hit the road this summer to help boost the number of businesses started in 2015 to a record 600,000.

For the fourth year, the campaign is set to tour Britain with a bus full of start-up experts and champions, to provide inspiration and support to tens of thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs.

Joining leading small business software company Sage as a headline sponsor of StartUp Britain, NatWest is providing its 1966 Routemaster bus, the NatWest Mobile Business School, for the tour, wrapping the iconic bus with campaign branding to catch the eye of individuals both on the high street and the open road.

Government-backed Start Up Loans Company and Upwork – the world leader in online work – will also be supporting the tour. On board, the national partners will be giving one-to-one advice and workshops to aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs, while local business organisations and entrepreneurs will provide mentoring and local guidance.

The tour is set to visit 25 locations across England, Wales and Scotland, starting in London on 22nd June and ending in Inverness on 8th August. The bus will be taking prominent positions outside Birmingham Library, Bournemouth Pier and Nottingham Town Hall and will be visiting Margate, Plymouth, Dundee, Middlesbrough and Swansea, among many others. It will also be taking part in the London Pride parade.

StartUp Britain director, Matt Smith said: “Since StartUp Britain launched in 2011 we have seen record breaking numbers of people each year starting businesses, showing that the entrepreneurial spirit within Britain continues to grow.

“By parking the StartUp Britain bus in town squares across the country, we want to give people the confidence and inspiration to turn their business ideas into reality”.

Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise at NatWest, said: “Our mobile business bus is a great way to get out into local communities to support aspiring business owners. By collaborating with experts like StartUp Britain, Sage and Start Up Loans, we hope to provide a broader range of support to help more entrepreneurs realise their business ambitions than ever before.”

Lee Perkins, MD of Sage UK & Ireland said: “We work with a thriving community of entrepreneurs and business owners who drive the UK economy. It’s our mission to support the UK’s small businesses and start-ups and we can’t wait to meet some of the country’s hottest entrepreneurial talent aboard the StartUp Britain bus! Along with customers and partners, Sage and our Executive team will be on board offering advice, support, tools and guidance for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs looking to grow their business. It’s going to be quite a journey.”

Tim Sawyer, CEO of Start Up Loans said: “We are looking forward to getting on the road and meeting aspiring business owners across the UK. We have already supported over 28,000 individuals, in every sector, turn their business ambitions into reality.

As a government funded scheme we not only offer finance but pre and post business support including free mentoring and accesses to exclusive business offers. Alongside members of the Start Up Loans team, on hand to give advice, some of our loan recipients will also be available to share their start up story.”

Upwork UK Country Manager Hayley Conick said: “British businesses need support to reach their full potential – and great ideas always need great people. That’s why we’re happy to support the StartUp Britain Bus, helping to connect more businesses with the talent they need to start – and to grow.”