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Business start up support

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Starting a business? Find expert advice for kick starting it successfully from start up loans to support with finding office space, recruitment and training.

This section offers start up support services for your new or early stage Lancashire business to help you become established in the market place. You'll also find information on financial support options, plus business networking and events that will help you make strong local contacts and provide opportunities to promote your business.

COVID-19 business support: for help and support for businesses affected by coronavirus visit Preston City Council - business support COVID-19.

Local start up support services

Boost - Lancashire's Growth Hub

Boost can help Lancashire start-up businesses access a number of funded programmes in key areas such as mentoring, scaling up, innovation, international trade, leadership development and accessing finance.

Boost Peer Networks

Boost - Peer Networks is a national peer-to-peer networking programme for SME leaders that want to grow and develop their organisation. The funded service includes interactive action learning, trained facilitators, small groups, flexible topic selection and one to one coaching.

Startup Lancashire

Startup Lancashire has been set up to help new Lancashire businesses succeed. Offering a range of support services from assistance accessing growth finance and developing networks to advice on developing a scalable business, their experienced advisors are on hand to help. 

Hyndburn Enterprise Trust

Hyndburn Enterprise Trust offers free one-to-one impartial business advice to anyone thinking of starting a business in Lancashire, plus a range of workshops on a variety of business topics.

Action For Jobs

Community CVS - Action For Jobs helps people into employment or further education but also offers support to those wishing to become self-employed or help with business growth and development. 

Ask About Business

Ask About Business is an information service available through libraries in Lancashire, which help start ups prepare, research and learn through their information resources, events, workshops, library space, and partnerships with other business support organisations.

You can also access business advice and information through COBRA - a complete business reference advisor containing all the information you need to turn your ideas into a business.

SELNET - for social enterprises

SELNET offers specialist business advice for social enterprises including starting a business. Email: hello@selnet-uk.com 

DRIVE Programme

SELNET - DR!VE programme for new-start and existing businesses is heading a partnership of qualified business advisors that can turn good business plans into business for good. The support is bespoke to your organisation and at no cost to you. For details call Nina Cowell at Selnet on 01772 200690 or email nina@selnet-uk.com

The Business Clinic 

The Business Clinic is a Preston-based community interest company (not for profit) run by local businesses for local businesses offering support, events and business surgeries.

Co-operatives

If you are interested in setting up a co-operative, or want more information, events and networks, there is a dedicated co-operatives section on the Preston City Council website. Or contact Gaynor Wood at UCLan (Preston Cooperative Development Network).

Setting up a Co-operative - free webinars

Interested in starting a business as a co-operative? The following links provide some useful information on setting up successfully:

Useful council services

The following links on Preston City Council's website provides useful information for new local businesses:

National start up business support services

GOV.UK business support

GOV.UK - set up a business provides you with a step-by-step process of what you need to do to set up a business. The things you need to do will depend on your type of business, where you work and whether you take people on to help.

Start up Britain

StartUp Britain is a campaign by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, offering inspiration, resources and guidance to help you start and grow your own business.

Enterprise for all

Enterprise for all offers start up help and advice for entrepreneurs from tailored one to one support and drop-in advice sessions to interactive workshops and regular networking events, plus access to growth tools and techniques and a wide mix of additional services.

Prince's Trust Enterprise Programme

The Prince's Enterprise Programme offers a range of support services from training and mentoring support to funding and resources for unemployed individuals aged between 18 and 30 who are working fewer than 16 hours per week and looking to start up in business.

Building Better Opportunities - for over 50s

Selnet - age of opportunity offers advice and support for setting up a business for those over the age of 50 through the Building Better Opportunities: Age of Opportunity programme.

Start Up Donut

Start Up Donut is an online guide to starting a business with free advice, resources and tools for small business start-ups such as information on getting finance, business planning, hiring, IT, marketing and much more.

HM Revenue and Customs

GOV.UK - self employment detailed information has tax help and advice for those starting up and small businesses.

Start up financial support (loans and grants)

For financial support to help kick start your new or early stage business see business financial support.

Find business premises or office space

Whether you're looking to rent a business premises, office space or simply a desk space, Preston offers a wide range of options when it comes to finding workspace to start your business.

For details see find business premises or office space.

Recruitment, apprenticeships and training and skills support

For advice and support around recruiting the right people for your start up business, as well as apprenticeships and training support to assist in upskilling staff see business recruitment and training support.

Local business networks

The city offers a variety of business networking groups in and around Preston, which are great places to promote your business and make useful contacts. For a list of current networking meets in around the city see business networks.

Preston Partnership

Preston Partnership is an independent partnership of businesses and organisations that are passionate about and committed to the city. The Partnership is made up of organisations of all shapes and sizes with a common goal to champion the city of Preston and its surrounding area.

For more details and how to become a memeber see Preston Partnership.

Local business events

To find out what business events, expos, conferences and exhibitions are happening in and around Preston see business events.

For events further afield in and around Lancashire please visit Boost Lancashire - Events

The North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce also host a variety of free events and training alongside their paid for events. For details visit Lancs Chamber - events.

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