More than 60 UK businesses have come together to encourage entrepreneurs and start-ups with advice, discounts and free trials.
The founders of StartUp Britain hope that the offers available through it – worth about £1,500 to each business – will help secure access to resources such as office space and Wi-Fi.
The scheme follows measures to support small businesses in chancellor George Osborne’s 2011 Budget and is being launched by prime minister David Cameron, but it is not backed by government money.
Cameron said, “We need to see a country where new businesses are starting up on every street, in every town; where entrepreneurs are everywhere. 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.”
The hope is that this new service will address the 270,000 startups that fail every year in the UK.
There are also future plans to make the site a repository for programs, people and organizations that are aimed at helping encourage new businesses.
Critics have claimed StartUp Britain is too political, pointing to a large picture of David Cameron on its website. It has also been criticised as a thinly-veiled way for corporations to sell their services.
Supporters counter that the site is good place to get advice and tips, and that its purpose is to streamline the startup process rather than to replace funding.