During these changing economic times there are opportunities for those with an entrepreneurial spirit and new ideas to start up in business. Setting up a new business is a challenge and requires making key decisions. Barclays offers support with this process with its service called Local Business. The following stories from the 'Entrepreneur' section of Times Online show how entrepreneurs have developed an idea into a business.

When Nathan Wood was faced with rising rent and a town-centre renovation which threatened his electrical retail business, he recognised the opportunities for online selling and set up a website, Dustbag.co.uk, to sell vacuum-cleaner bags. His venture is an example of how small firms are using the internet to transform their businesses. (The Sunday Times,11 January 2009).

Ideas can come through research and development in a business or from entrepreneurs, who can use them to create new businesses. New concepts can be protected through intellectual property (IP) rights.

Brewdog, a Scottish beer business, was struggling to sell its product amid local competition. Its co-founders could see opportunities in places like Sweden and America where specialist beers are popular and decided to try and market their products to overseas beer enthusiasts via the internet. (The Sunday Times, 18 January 2009).

James Watt, co-founder of Brewdog searched for the most popular bloggers in each country and sent free samples to them. Watt said:

“Blogs and other inexpensive online social-media tools are the most powerful means of growing a business for those who learn how to wield them. If you are competing against big companies, you have to use every means at your disposal to get your message out there and tell people why you're different.”

Read The Times 100 case studies on Barclays and Intellectual Property Office on how they advise and support entrepreneurs start a new business:

Barclays operates in 50 countries worldwide. In the UK, Barclays has 724,000 business customers, many of which are small enterprises or business start-ups.

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) helps the owners of new ideas to register protection. New ideas are vital to business as they can lead to new products and services.