Freeserve and Barclays in joint venture portal for small businesses

- Freeserve, the internet access portal, and Barclays, the high street bank, have formed a strategic partnership to create a small business portal aimed at owners, managers and employees of UK small businesses.

- Freeserve, the internet access portal, and Barclays, the high street bank, have formed a strategic partnership to create a small business portal aimed at owners, managers and employees of UK small businesses.

The portal will be targeted at all small businesses in the UK including Barclays' 450,000 small business customers -- 100,000 of whom are already banking online - and the estimated 300,000 SoHo and other businesses that use Freeserve.

Freeserve will hold 60 per cent of the joint venture and Barclays 40 per cent. Barclays will market the portal through its network of almost 2,000 small business staff through face-to-face contact, direct marketing and in business start-up information packs. Freeserve will promote the portal to its existing online customers and via its existing distribution channels.

The joint venture portal -- planned for launch in May 2000 - will offer a comprehensive range of online information and services to UK small businesses and will help them save time and money as well as simplify the way they do business.





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