For those starting or already running a new business, the main areas of support relate to the following:
- preparing business plans;
- how to access funding;
- how to develop a business;
- how to comply with the law and follow regulations;
- how to organise staff training;
- providing access to local workshops on important issues (finance, VAT and planning);
- helping a business get in touch with expert advisers from the public, private and voluntary sectors.
The Business Link website and Business Link advisors around the country should be the first port of call for all businesses looking for business support. It provides useful business support tools and access to advice.
The Social Enterprise Training and Support Consortium (setas) provides business support to social enterprise across the UK, including the devolved regions.
The Social Enterprise Coalition, the UK's national body for social enterprise, provides a search facility for regional business support organisations.
Access to finance is crucial for setting up and running a business.