George Osborne announces plans for a small business bank

The 'Small Business Bank' will aim to gather all the government help available for entrepreneurs and put it under one roof. This is to simplify the current system, that sees numerous different services being offered by a large number of bodies.

"The bank will bring together the alphabet soup of existing schemes available to small businesses", said Osborne. "The weakness in our banking system is one of the biggest problems we've got. Small businesses are the innocent victims of the financial crash."

The new bank will be government-backed but will have a strong private sector focus. The bank will not compete with high street banks or take deposits.

Similar schemes are already in operation in the US, Germany and Ireland and the British version will be based on these. The Treasury is hoping it could form the basis for a small national network and eventually be able to join forces with the private sector in joint projects.

This news comes with a report today from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor programme which shows that over 20 per cent of those who are of working age are planning to launch their own business in the next three years.

A survey from mid-market private equity firm ECI, which shows that sixty one percent of British SME's are predicting double-digit growth in the next year, should further boost the mood of UK entrepreneurs today.

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