Small Business Support

Small businesses play a very important role in the recovering U.K. economy, with over 500,000 new businesses started each year in the U.K, and up to an alarming 57% of these failing in the first five years, supporting these start ups is very important. There are now many different organisations out there to help with just that – supporting small businesses and start ups online. Here are some of these organisations and what they aim to do.

Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs – This organisation is set up to help its members develop and improve their enterprising skills allowing them to maximise their personal potential and contribution to the growth and success of UK PLC. The institutes 30,000+ members include students yet to start out in business, entrepreneurs in the early stages of running a business right through to mentors and support professionals and recognised learning providers. It offers enterprise related training and qualifications, enterprise events and enterprise resources working with a range of private and public sector partners.

The Prince’s Trust – The Prince’s trust helps 13 – 30 year olds that are unemployed and those that are struggling at school or at risk of exclusion. The trust’s programmes give the young people that it supports the practical and financial support needed to develop their skills, confidence and motivation to try to enable them to move into education, training or businesses of their own. The trust provides money and support to help young people start businesses of their own but also offers a wide range of other support ranging from courses on motivation and self confidence to intensive training and experience in a specific sector to help young people into work.

Smarta.com – Smarta.com is an online support platform designed for business owners and entrepreneurs aimed at providing a one stop shop where business owners can connect, learn and engage with other business people. Founded and backed by some of the U.K’s leading entrepreneurial talent gives Smarta unique insight into what new business owners and entrepreneurs need, offering guides, videos, case studies, features and diaries as well as live professional advice from lawyers, accountants and other service providers free of charge.

The British Chambers of Commerce – The british chambers of commerce is an independent business network with accredited chambers in every nation and region of the U.K. Established over 150 years the BCC is an authentic voice for British business and a leading commentator on the U.K economy. The BCC represents business interests in Westminster and Brussels and throughout the U.K. helping thousands of businesses of every size, from every sector with practical advice and support. The BCC also aims to bridge the gap between the world of education and the world of work, helping businesses find the talent they need and boosting the career prospects of young people.

Shell liveWIRE – Shell liveWIRE is an online community for young entrepreneurs aged 16-30. Established in 1982 the liveWIRE programme offers free online business advice and funding to young entrepreneurs in the U.K. Their new smarter future programme supports young people with smart and innovative ideas that meet the energy and resource needs of a fast growing population. This new programme awards start up grants of £5000 to one 16-30 year old each month with an idea that addresses sustainable living challenges through smart innovation. LiveWIRE also offers access to free tools, resources and guides on starting a business, news blogs and reviews of interest to young entrepreneurs.

Startups.co.uk – Startups.co.uk is a leading independent online resource for anyone starting or growing a business. Founded in 2000 startups offers a comprehensive advice platform covering all aspects of starting, running and growing a new business and also advice on how to sell a business. In 2013 startups merged growing businesses into the startups site offering its respected videos, articles and case studies to the startups audience. Startups also offers an active forum with over 50,000 active users offering discussion on all areas of starting and growing a business. The site also runs annual startups awards, startup 100 and young guns awards.

Federation of Small Business – The FSB is a non profit making pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self employed and owners of small businesses. Since its inception in 1974 the FSB has grown its membership to over 200,000 and offers its members a wide range of high quality, good value business services. The FSB also runs over 200 local networking groups for its members and runs its own online business directory.

With small and medium enterprises accounting for over 50% of U.K. GDP and U.K. employment, supporting these businesses is in everyones interests and these different networks and organisations offer valuable information and support to the U.K’s growing number of entrepreneurs and small business owners.