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Business Life – an online support package to support new enterprises

A new business support programme has been launched by the University of Warwick Science Park to help new companies through their difficult first years.

It's estimated that 50 per cent of new businesses fail in this time period and the 12 month Business Life programme run in conjunction with Warwick Business School aims to put a stop to that.

The programme is delivered online by business professionals and the Business Life website features educational material and templates for business documents with flexible online learning and mentoring from leading professional advisers.

A pilot scheme was run in Oxfordshire and received a 95 per cent approval rating with many businesses saying it helped them through the first twelve months while 86 per cent of the companies on the programme survived the first year.

Completion of the programme could also lead to a Certificate in Small Business Management.

David Rowe, chief executive of the Science Park, said: “It’s easy to talk about the recession and how useful this programme will be during the current economic climate. But it’s a fact that many new businesses fail in the first few years even during the boom times but that needn’t be the case.

“This new programme is being launched to help start-up companies through the early days with simple, easy-to-access help and advice. The fact that the learning takes place online means company bosses can work on it in their own time and not be bound be timescales.

The Science Park recently marked its 25th anniversary, during which time it has helped more than 1,000 companies leading to many thousands of new jobs in the area.

It was established during the recession of the early 1980s to provide flexible office and laboratory space to businesses as well as help secure investment for innovation and growth and gain access to new knowledge through student placements.

Since the Park was unveiled 25 years ago as part of the main campus at the University of Warwick, three further innovation centres have been established in Binley (Coventry), Warwick and at Blythe Valley in Solihull.

Earlier this year, the Science Park relaunched its Virtual Tenancies service which offers small companies the opportunity to benefit from the prestigious addresses at the Science Park and to make use of its support services.