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Microsoft, Google back UK entrepreneurship drive

62 companies lend their support to StartUp Britain

Microsoft and Google are among a number of IT companies that have pledged to support Prime Minister David Cameron’s initiative to encourage entrepreneurship in the UK.

StartUp Britain is a private-sector led campaign that aims to provide support and advice to new start-ups. The launch follows last week's Budget, in which Chancellor George Osborne announced a series of 'welcome' measures to encourage entrepreneurs and to boost technology and innovation.

So far, 62 companies in a wide range of sectors have committed to lending support, including including Google, Fujitsu, Microsoft, Intel, BlackBerry and HP.

The support ranges from free advertising to finance and mentoring support for start-up businesses.

Microsoft has said it will train 5,000 start-ups in how to use technology to drive their business and marketing activities, and it will also provide free technology resources worth up to £400 to each company.

Fujitsu, meanwhile, is offering new businesses access to its cloud-based IT services with a 30-day free trial if they sign up by 15 July, as well as a 10 percent discount on Fujitsu’s standard fees for the first year of service, which the company said is worth up to £2,500 for an average SME.

Moreover, Google will provide new firms with £30 of Adwords, BlackBerry will offer 1,000 free Start-Up Guide ebooks, and HP is offering a 10 percent discount on online HP purchases,

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We put out a call to business to rise up and help us drive the recovery and StartUp Britain is part of the answer to that call.

“We need to see a country where new businesses are starting up on every street, in every town; where entrepreneurs are everywhere.”

In addition to the companies’ pledges, the government has said it will support the scheme by launching a new online tool that will enable small businesses to pitch their ideas on how they could do the business of government more cheaply or more efficiently. A group of civil servants will then choose the best pitches, and those businesses will receive mentoring from “several of Britain’s best entrepreneurs”.

Any companies wishing to support the StartUp Britain campaign can find information on how to do so by visiting the website StartUpBritain.org.

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