START-UP businesses in Hampshire are offered a range of support services under a new scheme introduced this week.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants' start-up business rewards programme gives owner-managers of new businesses discounts on everything from insurance to health care.

The initiative takes the form of a 'chequebook' containing offer vouchers for products and services the institute has identified as key areas where start-ups often need support.

These include finance, human resources, telecoms and utilities. Among the major suppliers taking part are the AA and Vodafone.

Owners of new businesses engaging the services of a chartered accountant will qualify for the scheme.