UMi secures a contract with the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) to helm the new Business Support Service, aimed at bolstering the growth and prosperity of SMEs across England.

With a track record of aiding over 600,000 businesses in their journey from inception to success, UMi is primed to deliver this essential virtual support service. The initiative aims to offer indispensable advice and guidance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at every stage of their business evolution.

SMEs constitute a cornerstone of the UK economy, contributing £4.5 trillion in revenue and supporting 27 million jobs. UMi’s past experience also indicates a growing demand for advisory services among SMEs, with 68% of businesses acting on advice received in 2023, a figure that rose to 72% in 2024.

Features of the Business Support Service

  1. Expert Advisory Team: UMi boasts a team of seasoned advisors, accessible via phone, email, webchat, and social media, offering personalised assistance tailored to each entrepreneur’s needs.
  2. Flexible Service Channels and Hours: Operating Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm, the service ensures accessibility through telephone, email, webchat, and social media, catering to businesses during standard working hours.
  3. In-Depth Appointments: For complex needs, the service provides the option for telephone/video appointments, delivering tailored advice to address specific requirements.
  4. Proven Track Record: With over 33,000 enquiries managed annually and a satisfaction rate of 98%, the service’s impact on Gross Value Added is estimated at £31 million, resulting in substantial economic contributions.
  5. Efficiency and Speed: 72% of callers take immediate action based on advice received during interactions, underscoring the service’s effectiveness.

UMi collaborates with PA Consulting and the National Enterprise Network (NEN) to bolster the service’s capabilities. PA Consulting brings digital expertise to optimise service capabilities, while NEN enhances scalability and accessibility, ensuring unparalleled support for businesses.

A Word from UMi Chief Executive and Partners

Nicki Clark OBE, UMi Chief Executive, expressed pride in delivering this vital service, affirming UMi’s commitment to fostering growth and success for businesses.

Nigel Robinson, Partner at PA Consulting, highlighted the transformative potential of the initiative, aiming to provide cutting-edge support to SMEs in navigating the complex business landscape. He added, “UMi exists to help other businesses go further by taking the hard work out of finding and using the best information expertise and finance, so what is a better example of that than the Business Support Service. We are really proud to be delivering such an important service on behalf of the Department for Business and Trade.”

Alex Till, Chair of the National Enterprise Network, underscored the importance of accessible support for SMEs in driving economic growth and innovation, affirming NEN’s commitment to the initiative.

Businesses seeking more information on the free advice can visit the Business Support Service website, or reach out and speak to an advisor via phone (0800 998 1098), email, webchat, LinkedIn, X, Facebook, as well as on YouTube.