"You don't know, what you don't know" is a great saying and so applicable to starting a business. There are so many considerations in the early stages that taking advice from an experienced business adviser will dramatically increase your chances of success.
See list of local business support organisations below.
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An easy to read, step-by-step guide to setting up your own business. Each step is explained briefly and in plain English.Download
"You don't know what you don't know!" Make sure that you don't miss anything by plotting your progress with this 125+ point checklist.Download
This very popular infographic provides a colourful visual walk through the start-up process and used to occupy the centre pages of our Start-Up newspapers.Download
We have created a CD based upon the start-up map. You can now download and enjoy the whole of this unique interactive experience.Download
If you run your own business in England and would like to learn more about , we have compiled a library of useful resources and frequently asked questions which we hope that you will find both interesting and useful.
Business in the Community
Business in the Community mobilises business for good. Its members commit to improve the way in which they manage their resources, be that their people or the planet. Its power is the unique platform this creates for collaborative action. 020 7566 8650
Empowering Communities through Mutual Self-help. Starting a social Enterprise? Community Empowerment Limited offers free advice to people looking to start their own co-operative social enterprises and create employment in the UK. We'll Help you in starting a sustainable and successful enterprise developed with the proven business model of co-operative values and principles.
Croydon Enterprise is a complete package of support for local people who want to start or grow their own business, develop their skills or find a new career. From practical one-to-one support for the complete novice through to funding, skills programmes and premises advice, we offer guidance every step of the way and most of our services are provided free of charge. So whether you are thinking about enterprise and need help with the first steps, or already have an existing business and are looking to grow and expand, there are a lots of practical ways we can help. 020 8680 6161
Enterprise Cornwall Limited
Whether you are thinking of starting a business or are already running your own business anywhere in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Enterprise Cornwalls??? experienced business advisors provide advice and guidance on starting and running your own business in simple, easy to understand language. They are available to meet with you on a One2One basis to talk through your business idea and to guide you through the key issues of planning a new business e.g. the implications of self employment, the legal requirements, market research & raising finance. Enterprise Cornwall runs FREE, half day ???Awareness??? workshops at convenient locations across Cornwall which cover the frequently asked questions about starting and running your own business. FREE workshops are also run giving an in depth understanding of financial planning, sales & marketing.
Enterprise Europe Network
The largest network of contact points providing information and advice to EU companies on EU matters, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Essex Education Business Partnership
The Business Ambassador Scheme is a new initiative by Essex Education Business Partnership to acknowledge those businesses and individuals that regularly give their time and commitment to schools and colleges across Essex, Southend and Thurrock. 01245 463 807
Essex Libraries Business Information Service
Did you know that Essex Libraries has a Business Information Service that can help people who want to start a business and also support established businesses in the county? Based at Chelmsford Library, staff are on hand 7 days a week to answer your questions and you can also access a huge range of business information online at your local library. So whether you have a business idea or not you can find all the information you need to get you going. Our Business Opportunity Profiles (BOPs) will give you the essential facts on hundreds of business opportunities and our Business Information Factsheets (BIFs) will make it really simple to write your business plan or choose the right legal status for your venture. You may have a great idea, but you need to do your market research first. You can build up a picture of your potential market from authoritative resources including COBRA, Key Note and Datamonitor. Our community profiles will also help you to choose the right location for your business. And if you decide to set up a Limited Company we can help with that too. For just 01245 492535
Gateshead Council Economic Development Service
Where to find help if you live in the Gateshead area or if you are thinking abour starting a new business. 0191 433 2815
Support, advice and inspiration for growing your business. Find the sources of information and practical advice you need to make your new venture a success
HM Revenue & Customs offers a new FREE e-learning tool that advises on the tax and National Insurance issues involved in starting your own business. The package includes learning checks and videos as well as links to further advice on YouTube & gov.uk website. Contact via website.
ICAEW Business Advice Service
The ICAEW Business Advice Service (BAS) plays a vital role in the business support landscape, offering free advice and resourceful finance advice guides to start-ups and SMEs in thousands of locations across the UK.
The UK’s innovation agency. We’re an organisation of around 300 staff, drawn mainly from business. We work with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy. With a strong business focus, we drive growth by working with companies to de-risk, enable and support innovation.
Learning and Skills Council - Essex
The Learning and Skills Council exists to make England better skilled and more competitive. We have a single goal: to improve the skills of England???s young people and adults to ensure we have a workforce of world-class standard. 0845 019 4179
Manchester Business Consortium
Manchester Business Consortium is an Enterprise Agency & company limited by guarantee. We have 20 years experience in delivering support to start-up and existing businesses. The Enterprise Agency is part of a network of referral and delivery. 0161 236 1168
Mentorsme.co.uk is Britain's first online gateway for small and medium-sized enterprises looking for mentoring services. The free site offers businesses access to a list of quality-assured business mentoring organisations across Britain. An easy-to-use search engine allows businesses to refine their searches according to the life stage of their business and their location in Britain.
New Enterprise Allowance – Department for Work and Pensions
New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) can provide money and support to help people start their own business if they get certain benefits and have a business idea that could work. This includes support from a business mentor. Contact your local Job Centre Plus
A free searchable database of some 10,000+ European business opportunities where companies can look for specific business partnering opportunities or arrange to have their own offers or requests added.
School for Social Entrepreneurs
The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) helps people to start up, scale and strengthen organisations that tackle social and environmental problems. Every year, SSE supports more than 1,000 social entrepreneurs and social-sector leaders through learning. It runs courses that equip them with the skills and networks needed to create lasting change. SSE helps in other ways too, like connecting people with funding and mentoring. SSE has been equipping social entrepreneurs since 1997, when it was founded by Michael Young. Today, its network of schools are changing lives and transforming communities across the UK, Canada and India.
Shaw Trust is a national charity which supports disabled and disadvantaged people to prepare for work, find jobs and live more independently. 01225 716 300
The UK's biggest online community for young entrepreneurs (aged 16-30) who are starting or running their own business. Register for your FREE Shell LiveWIRE account so you can;Apply for business funding including our monthly 0191 423 6229
Start & Grow
An online business resources platform in the UK that supports the business journey from pre-start to start-up, and on through stages of growth. Bitesize course modules can help you master the essentials of starting and growing your business
The Intellectual Property Office
The Intellectual Property Office is the official government body responsible for Intellectual Property (IP) rights in the United Kingdom. These rights include Patents, Designs, Trade marks, Copyright. 0300 0200 015
The Prince's Trust
The Prince's Trust is a UK charity that helps young people overcome barriers and get their lives working. They help young people realise their potential and transform their lives. Services include: Business Programme. Funding and support to help young people (aged 18-30) to start their own business. Low interest loan of up to See website for full details.
With more than 40 years' experience, Young Enterprise is the UK's leading business and enterprise education charity. The businesses and volunteers that support Young Enterprise take an active role in building a better-motivated, educated and enterprising workforce, at the same time making a real difference to the existing lives and future potential of young people who live and attend school in their area. 01865 776845
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