Page 1: Introduction
Barclays is a major global financial services provider. It operates in over 50 countries and employs more than 156,000 people. In 2008, Barclays had an income of £23 billion, generating a profit before tax of just over £6 billion.
In the UK, Barclays has 741,000 business customers. Many of these customers run relatively small enterprises; some are new business start-ups. Barclays offers a dedicated banking service for smaller enterprises called Local Business. This is provided through the bank's UK retail banking division.
Even during the downturn many people are choosing to start their own businesses. Barclays estimated that more than 436,000 new businesses started up in England and Wales in 2008. However, the number of businesses that ceased trading also rose in 2008. While the majority of these businesses closed voluntarily, setting up in business does also carry risks.
This case study looks at the challenges of setting up a new business. It looks at some of the decisions that must be made by a budding entrepreneur. It outlines some of the services and support that are offered to business start-ups by a financial institution like Barclays.