4 - Services, advice and consultancy

4.3 - Encouraging the creation of specialised support bodies for entrepreneurs and Technology-Based Companies


The business sector needs to encourage and support the provision of specialised services to guide entrepreneurs in their first steps in their chosen field, in order to maximize the success rate of such initiatives. Due to their higher level of risk and greater potential impact on the economy, support for new technology-based companies (TBCs) is particularly vital. In many cases, the origin of these new TBCs takes place in an academic institution, with university researchers who are interested in marketing their innovations. More effective collaboration between the business sector and academic institutions in designing specific support services for entrepreneurs would lead to an increase in their numbers and a higher probability of success.


Business Link (United Kingdom)

Business Link is the British Government’s main information site for business. It contains essential information about support and services for entrepreneurs who are starting a business, but is also of great use to larger or more consolidated companies. It is a tool which is practical, up to date and easy to use and it aims to be the primary site for entrepreneurs who are seeking practical information on regulations or how to gain access to services provided by Public Bodies. It also contains a large number of online tools, as well as information on studies of good practices and forms of financing for business initiatives.

Amongst the customised services for entrepreneurs there is detailed information about: the creation of an effective business plan; financing a business in the short, medium and long term; the ideal organisational structure for the type of business in question (legal, commercial, operative, etc.); and how to find the best location for setting up.

Business Link was created in 1992 and in 2004 it launched its website as an extra support for the services it provided. Originally an office was set up in each of the regions throughout the UK but in 2011 all the organisation’s operations were unified in a single national website. Nevertheless, it continues to contain information concerning regulations and support at a national, regional and municipal level.

Innovation Growth Teams (United Kingdom)

The work of the Innovation Growth Teams (IGT) focuses on the comprehensive monitoring of the process of creating new companies linked to research centres and British universities, and the seeking of adequate public and private funding, amongst other support services. The distinctiveness of their approach is that it involves detailed monitoring, combined with training, and has led to very positive results. Innovation Growth Teams attach great importance to networking, organising activities such as working breakfasts or sectorial workshops in order to create business collaborations (sectorial networks, virtual clusters, etc).

The activities of the Innovation Growth Teams include:

  1.  Encouraging collaborative research and development.
  2. Helping to obtain subsidies for R&D.
  3. Training for businesses, researchers, entrepreneurs, etc.
  4. Improving efficiency and effectiveness of business resources.
  5. Helping to obtain investment.
  6. Encouraging rural development.
  7. Coaching which is focussed on growth.
  8. Designing processes for the internationalisation of businesses.
  9. Providing industrial consultancy services.
  10. Identifying market needs.
  11. Involving knowledge transfer associations.
  12. Organising networks for innovation.
  13. Offering tailor-made support.

As part of the new British Government strategy for business support, since the beginning of 2012 the functions of the IGTs have been taken over by Local Enterprise Partnerships. Active participants in these organisations include representatives of well established local companies, university institutions and Local Government bodies. 

Implementation process


  1. Visit to Oxfordshire, conversations with Dra. Espejo, Programme Manager del Innovation Growth Team de Oxfordshire.
  2. www.businesslink.gov.uk - Bussiness Link.
  3. http://www.innovationgrowth.co.uk/ - South East Business Innovation & Growth.