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BT gives start-ups in Wales a boost with launch of new bursary scheme

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From today, start-ups and entrepreneurs in Wales can apply for one of 1,000 bursaries being offered by BT across the UK as part of its Small Business Support Scheme.

With the UK home to the biggest and most vibrant start-up community in Europe, BT is pledging its support for start-ups by giving it a financial head start through free superfast fibre broadband, digital phone line and mobile bundles, including its Halo for business product. The bundles will be provided completely free of charge for the first six months on a 24-month contract.

BT recently launched its Small Business Support Scheme to help boost the sustainability and growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs around the UK as they continue to manage the economic impact of Covid-19 and as they prepare for a post-Brexit climate. The new support package – which was welcomed by business groups and senior politicians around the country – consists of ten initiatives aimed at boosting the connectivity, cash flow and confidence of small businesses around the UK. Improving access to high-speed connections through bursaries and the launch of BT’s Halo for business product forms a central part of the scheme.

Pete Oliver, MD, SME, for BT’s Enterprise business, said: “BT has a proud history of backing the UK start-up sector, for example by helping to incubate companies at its tech cluster in Adastral Park, Ipswich. Start-ups will be critical in kickstarting the economy as the country gradually recovers from the impact of the pandemic. We want to do our bit by easing the financial burden on these fledgling companies by giving 1,000 of them free high-speed connectivity for the first six months.

“It’s just one example of how our Small Business Support scheme is helping start-ups, sole traders, micro businesses and more established firms to bounce back – from faster connections and digital payments to support around mentoring, digital skills and marketing tools.”

Under the new bursary scheme, BT is offering UK start-ups a number of bundles to choose from, starting from £34.95 (excluding VAT) per month after the first 6 months. These include:

BT Halo for business broadband and digital phone line bundle
First 6 months free, then £34.95 per month excluding VAT for next 18 months

BT Halo for business broadband, digital phone line and 4G SIM-only bundle
First 6 months free, then £39.95 per month excluding VAT for next 18 months

Eligible companies can apply for a bursary from today by visiting: www.bt.com/tech-bursary. To qualify, customers will need to have set up their company after 1 October, 2019 and they’ll need to be taking a BT business broadband service for the first time. BT’s customer service team will contact applicants the next working day to talk them through the best bundled broadband, digital phone line and mobile option to suit their needs.

While the bursary will be made available to 1,000 eligible companies initially, BT will be closely monitoring interest in the scheme and will consider extending it to more UK start-up companies, subject to demand.

BT recently announced the launch of its BT Halo for business offering – the UK’s best converged fibre broadband, mobile and digital phone line bundle for micro-businesses, which represent 91 percent of all businesses in the UK. Featuring three powerful connections in one, BT Halo for business includes superfast fibre broadband that automatically switches to 4G if there’s a problem to ensure that small businesses always stay connected; a digital phone line that lets businesses use their office number remotely, so they never miss a call; and an unlimited mobile plan with no data caps or speed restrictions. Business customers also have the option to upgrade to 5G for a truly converged experience.

One of the key benefits of BT Halo for business is the new digital phone line, which gives businesses access to a range of services which aren’t available through traditional fixed phone lines. It allows businesses to stay connected from any place, at any time, by simply downloading an app on their mobile device to make and receive calls from their business landline number when they’re on the move. The number will not change, so business customers can retain their identity and local presence even if the business premises moves.

BT Halo for business also features free Guest Wi-Fi, to allow firms to turn their workplace into a Wi-Fi hotspot for their customers without their broadband speeds or security being affected. It’s password-free so customers can easily browse online while they shop and clients can work whilst they visit the business premises.

All of these features are backed up by 24/7 UK-based customer service support to ensure that business customers can get assistance when they need it most.

Rhys Gregory
Editor of Wales247.co.uk

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