Olympian kicks off 2012 Start-up to recovery

Feb 09, 2012

Newbury, 9 February 2012 – Olympian Ronald Duncan Chairman of @UK PLC today announced the 2012StartUp.com campaign to create an additional 100,000 businesses and support sustainable growth for existing businesses, on the 20th Anniversary of his competition in the Albertville Olympic Downhill.  

The campaign is supported by the AIM market of London Stock Exchange Group, the Forum of Private Business (FBP), @UK PLC, and the Software Industry Association (BASDA).

The campaign aims to create an additional 100,000 companies in 2012 and increase of 27% over the number of companies created in 2011, and was inspired by the downturn in business confidence noticed by @UK PLC in the second half of last year as a result of the uncertainly caused by the ongoing crisis in Greece and other Eurozone countries.

The UK has a number of significant campaigns such as Start up Britain, which encourages start-ups and “Get Britain Trading” from FPB.  The key difference with this campaign is that @UK PLC Company Formation division @UK Company Registration have already created 240,000 start ups and the AIM companies in 2009 contributed £ 12 billion of GDP and paid £ 1.8 billion in taxes according to analysis by Grant Thornton in 2010.  BASDA members provide the core business software that runs virtually every public and private sector company in the uk.  Thus the supporters have a proven ability to start up and help businesses to grow.

This is reflected in the campaign website which has a simple call to action, and provides everything required to get a company quickly set up and trading online.  The other key element is that by sharing marketing resources with other organisations that support start-ups the cost of forming a company has been cut to 99p with a £ 50 cash back to spend on offers that assist with supporting and growing the company.

The campaign has been driven by @UK PLC’s chairman Ronald Duncan.  Ronald was the UK’s top downhill racer and 20 years ago today was competing on the Face de Bellevarde  course in Val d'Isere.


His company @UK PLC has been one of the top stocks on the London Stock Exchange for the past two years and has over 1 million users of the @UK cloud ecommerce marketplace, which is used by 100’s of thousands of organisations to purchase goods and services.

Chairman of @UK PLC, Ronald Duncan said: -
'We have been delighted by the level of support shown for this campaign.  The uncertainty caused by the financial crisis in Europe has had a major impact on the number of companies being set up in the UK. Small businesses are a vital part of the UK economy and employ the majority of the population.  Our campaign will make it easier for people to join our vibrant small business community which is essential for economic growth.

“Growth for existing businesses is as important as start-ups and by providing the tools for growth we believe that the combined effect of both parts of the campaign will help grow the UK economy in a sustainable manner.”

Marcus Stuttard,  Head of AIM, concurs:-
'We are delighted to support this important initiative. In the current economic climate it will be vibrant small businesses and determined entrepreneurs that will grow the UK economy and drive job creation.

“We must look to support entrepreneurs across the county and, in particular in sectors such as high-tech, clean-tech and bio-tech. These are the job creators of the future, where our skills base gives the UK an unrivalled advantage. We have a wealth of entrepreneurs, university researchers, science start-ups and innovators in this country who, with the right advice and backing, could build successful, global companies.'

As does Phil Orford, CEO of the FPB said:-
“The Forum of Private Business works tirelessly to support start-up and growing businesses. We have no hesitation in supporting our member @UK with their 2012Startup.com campaign. Collaboratively, we are supporting a wider campaign to 'Get Britain Trading'.”

Finally Kevin Hart, Chairman of BASDA said:-
'Business software is a key driver in helping companies to succeed and grow. BASDA, as the software industry trade body, is delighted to support this initiative by one of our members.”

The first draft of the campaign website is already up at http://www.2012StartUp.com and it will be refreshed a number of times in the next few weeks as the campaign builds momentum.


Notes to Editors:

@UK is the Europe’s leading Cloud Platform with over 1 million users, which is used for University and College’s procurement along with Local Authority, Schools and other Government and Private sector procurement.

The GeM marketplace for Universities on Colleges is the only card based national marketplace in the world and was successfully delivered for the 800 Universities and Colleges and the 680 National Suppliers, proving that Cloud Ecommerce delivers large complex projects for Government on time and budget.

Richard Benyon MP Minister for the Natural Environment, launched the @UK Green Ecommerce Marketplace back in October 2010, and it is now the largest repository of product carbon footprints in the World.

@UK was used by the National Audit Office to identify over £ 500 million in savings for 25% of NHS spend.  The ground breaking SpendInsight system used to identify the savings resulted in 2 PhD’s in artificial Intelligence, and GreenInsight is now being used to calculate the NHS’s carbon footprint for goods and services.

 Ronald Duncan 1991 World Alpine Ski Championships Saalbach Hinterglem
Ronald Duncan Competing in 1991 World Championships @ Saalbach Hinterglem

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For further information and interviews please contact:

Ronald Duncan, @UKPLC – 07973 754 817
David Spencer, Chelgate PR – 020 79397939

Ronald Duncan had a small crash half way down the Face course 20 years ago, when he was still in contention for a top 10 result and ended up 35th, he still does not like to talk about the day.  Beating the winner the previous summer in Chile is a much better topic or coming 13th at the World Cup Finals in Are in 1990.