Support

SUPPORT & ADVICE

  • Women's Organisations
  • Government Support
  • Funding
  • Resources for Special Groups
  • Enterprise Agencies
  • Government Department & Agencies
  • National Trade Associations
  • Helpful Websites & Organisations

 

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WOMEN'S ORGANISATIONS

(Also see the NETWORKING page)

 

Prowess

Women’s Business Network

Women in Publishing

British Association of Women Entrepreneurs

European Federation of Black Women Business Owners

National Association of Women Business Owners

Women in Technology

National Black Women’s Network

Chicks with Bricks

Female Franchise

Women Returners Network

National Childminders Association of England and Wales

Women’s Leadership Institute:

Association of Women in Science & Engineering (AWISE)

Association of Women in Property

Global Women Innovation and Inventors Network

High Tech Women

The Mother’s Union

National Council for One Parent Families

National Federation of Women’s Institute

Springboard

National Council for Women

North Wales Women’s Network

Professional Family Women’s Network

Scottish Business Women

Thinking Women

Women’s International Shipping and Trade Association (WISTA)

Women in Banking and Finance

Women Experts (European Database)

Women into Computing

Women’s Design Service

Women Engineering Society

Women in Journalism

Women’s Food and Farming Union

Women’s Business Network

Women and Manual Trades

 

Prowess

www.prowess.org.uk

The former government funded agency and association for women’s business organisation. Sign up for e-newsletters and get updates on news and resources available to women.

 

The Women’s Business Centre

www.herbusinessuk.co.uk

The first ever purposed built women’s business centre to help women with getting back to work and starting their own business.

 

Make Your Mark Connect

www.makeyourmarkconnect.org & www.girlsmakeyourmarkconnec.org

If you start your own networking group, you can be listed on this site and they will help you promote your events.

 

Business Link London – Women’s Online Centre

www.bllondon.com/women/events.html

Business Link has a section of it’s London site dedicated to information for women.

 

The Women’s Library

www.thewomenslibrary.ac.uk

 

European Federation of Black Women Business Owners

www.efbwbo.net

An international organisation that aims brings black women business owners together.

 

Dynamic Asian Women Network (DAWN)

www.mydawn.co.uk

 

EVEolution

www.eve-olution.net

Faith Popcorn is best selling author, adviser and trend analyst. Her organisation has connections with FTSE 500 companies and the public sector organisations. It is a body that is dedicated to the advancement of women in society.

 

Women’s Leadership Institute

www.womensleadership.com/index.html

An organisation that provides extensive training in business.

 

Catalyst

www.catalystwomen.org

A research focused organisation on a wide variety of women issues

.

Centre for Women’s Business Research

www.nfwbo.org

The site for US based organisation but still worth visiting for insight into how women are doing business in the US.

 

Forum for Women Entrepreneurs

www.fwe.org

Very helpful organisation for networking, events and advice.

 

National Association of Women Business Owners

www.nawbo.org

A nationwide association of women in wide range of different types of businesses with networking opportunities.

 

Springboard Ventures

www.springboardenterprises.org

A helpful organisation full of advice and funding for women with high technology business.

 

Centre for New Futures

www.centerfornewfutures.com

An American organisation run by two very successful and experience women.

 

Babson College

www.babson.edu/cwl

Babson College is one of America’s top universities. It’s Centre for Women’s Leadership conducts important research on women entrepreneurship.

 

Women into Business (The Small Business Bureau Ltd)

www.smallbusinessbureau.org.uk

 

Government Departments & Agencies

 

The National Federation of Enterprise Agencies

www.nfea.com

Contains the membership details of enterprise agencies in the country and good for finding business support in you local area.

 

British Chambers of Commerce

www.chamberonline.co.uk

 

The Department of Trade and Industry

www.dti.gov.uk

 

A useful site to find information on government departments, exporting, and new government funding initiatives.

Companies House

www.companieshouse.gov.uk

You can check for registered business names and then register your company details.

 

The British Library – Business & IP Centre

www.bl.uk/bipc

Lots of information about your particular idea, advice, workshops and events.

 

Financial Services Authority (FSA)

www.fsa.gov.uk

 

Federation of Small Business

www.fsb.co.uk

 

Health and Safety Executive

www.hse.gov.uk

 

HM Revenue & Customs

www.hrmc.gov.uk

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

www.ico.gov.uk

 

Office of National Statistics

www.statistics.gov.uk

 

Trading Standards Institute

www.tradingstandards.gov.uk

 

Criminal Records Bureau

www.crb.gov.uk

 

Department of Work and Pensions

www.dwp.gov.uk

 

Immigration Agency

www.workingintheuk.gov.uk

 

Job Centres

www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk

 

Food Standards Agency

www.foodstandards.gov.uk

www.eatwell.gov.uk

www.food.gov.uk

www.salt.gov.uk

 

The UK Patent Office & Copyright

www.patent.gov.uk

 

Consumer Direct

www.consumerdirect.gov.uk

 

Equal Opportunities Commission

www.eoc.org.uk

 

National Trade Associations

 

There is a trade association for just about any industry. They are a valuable source of inside information, know-how and contacts. It would be a great investment for your business to pay to become a member and instantly have access to potential customers and trading partners.

 

The Arts Council

www.artscouncil.org.uk

 

The Crafts Council

www.craftcouncil.org.uk

 

The Public Relations Consultants Associations

www.prca.org.uk

 

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations

www.ipr.org.uk

 

The Periodical Publishers Association

www.ppa.co.uk

 

The Direct Marketing Association

www.dma.org.uk

 

The Direct Selling Association

www.dsa.org.uk

 

The Advertising Association

www.adassoc.org.uk

 

Association of Accountants (ACCA)

www.accaglobal.com

 

British Franchise Associations

www.thebfa.org

 

British Insurance Brokers’ Association

www.biba.org.uk

 

The Chartered Institute of Marketing

www.cim.co.uk

 

Institute of Grocery Distribution

www.igd.com

 

Financial Ombudsman Service

www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

 

Franchise Development Services (FDS)

www.fdsfranchise.com

 

Forum of Private Business

www.fpb.co.uk

 

The Law Society

www.lawsociety.org.uk

 

The Booksellers Association

www.booksellers.org.uk

 

Association of Convenience Stores

www.thelocalshop.com

 

The British Antique Dealers’ Association

www.bada.org

 

British Clothing Industry Association (BCIA)

www.5portlandplace.org.uk

 

British Florist Association

www.britishflouristassociation.org

 

Bridal Industry Suppliers Association

www.bisassociation.co.uk

 

British Retail Consortium (BRC)

www.brc.org.uk

 

British Shops and Stores Association

www.britishshops.co.uk

 

British Toy and Hobby Association

www.btha.co.uk

 

Fine Art Trade Guild

www.fineart.co.uk

 

Federation of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA)

www.sportsandplay.com

 

Flower & Plants Association

www.flowers.org.uk

 

Horticultural Trades Association (HTA)

www.the-hta.org.uk

 

Independent Footwear Retailers Association

www.shoeshop.org.uk

 

Knitting & Crochet Guild

www.knitting-and-crochet-guild.org.uk

 

Master Florist

www.masterflorist.com

 

National Associations of Goldsmiths

www.jewellers-online.org

 

National Association of Health Stores

www.nahs.co.uk

 

National Farmers’ Retail & Markets Association

www.farma.org.uk

 

National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN)

www.nfrnonline.com

 

Outdoor Industries Association

www.outdoorindustriesassociation.co.uk

 

Retail Bridalwear Association

www.weddingshops.org

 

Toy Retailers Association

www.toyretailerassociation.co.uk

 

Bookkeepers’ Organisation

www.bookkeppers.org.uk

 

Business Angels Network

www.bestmatch.co.uk

 

Bytestart (small business tax advice)

www.bytestart.co.uk

 

Cleaning and Support Services Organisation

www.cleaningindustry.org

 

Equifax (provides business reports and credit information)

www.equifax.co.uk

 

Institute of Customer Services

www.instituteofcustomerservice.com

 

Internet Advertising Bureau

www.iabuk.net

 

National Federation of Enterprise Agency

www.nfea.com

 

Small Business Success

www.smallbusinesssuccess.biz

 

Hotel & Catering International Management Association (HCIMA)

www.hcima.org.uk

 

British Hospitality Association

www.bha-online.org.uk

 

British Sandwich Association

www.sandwich.org.uk

 

Health and Safety Training Courses

www.hshtc.co.uk

 

Catering Equipment Suppliers’ Association

www.cesa.org.uk

 

The National Association of Farmers’ Markets

www.farmersmarkets.net

 

Nationwide Caterers Association (and mobile caterers)

www.ncass.org.uk

 

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

www.cipd.co.uk

 

The Coaching and Mentoring Network

www.coachingnetwork.org.uk

 

Women’s Business Development Agency

www.wbda.co.uk

 

UK Business Forums

www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk

 

British Employment Law

www.emplaw.co.uk

 

Sources of Experts

www.expertsources.co.uk

 

Legal Advice: Website-Law.co.uk (get free legal documents that you can tailor to your needs)

www.website-law.co.uk

 

The Small Business Bureau

www.smallbusinessbureau.org.uk

 

Business Debtline 0800 197 6026

www.bdl.or.uk

 

Greeting Card Association

www.greetingcardassociation.org.uk

 

British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy

www.bacp.co.uk

 

United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy

www.pyschotherapy.org.uk

 

British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cometology

www.babtac.com

 

Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Authority

www.habia.org.uk

 

British Register of Complementary Practitioners

www.icmedicine.co.uk

 

Federation of Holistic Therapists

www.fht.org.uk

 

Massage Training Institute

www.massagetraining.co.uk

 

Shiatsu Society

www.shiatsu.org

 

Reiki Association

www.reikiassociation.org.uk

 

UK Reiki Federation

www.reikifed.co.uk

 

Yoga Biomedical Trust

www.yogatherapy.org

 

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

 

Finance Guarantee (Replaces the Small Firms Loans Guarantee (SFLG)

www.businesslink.gov.uk

 

As part of the government’s Solution for Business scheme, this initiative is design to help small businesses who do not have security to secure a commercial loan. The loan is administered by a select group of organisations and banks. The government will guarantee 75% of the loan applied for which you must pay 2% premium on the outstanding balance of the loan a year. You can borrow between £1,000 to £1 million, payable from 3 months to up to 10 year terms.

 

GLE One London

www.gle.co.uk/onelondon

Start-up Loan (up to £10,000)

Growth Loan (up to £100,000 to existing businesses)

And £250,000 (to non-profit distributing enterprises)

These loans are only available to those who have been turned down by other banks (last resort). The interest rates may be slightly higher than that of a high street bank. You will also have the help of a business adviser as you start your business.

Community Development Finance Association

www.cdfa.org.uk

This is the trade association of community development finance institutions. This organisation can help you find local providers of loans for small businesses and social enterprises.

 

Social Enterprise

The Social Enterprise Loan Fund Ltd

www.tself.org.uk

Provides funding or information on organisations who can provide funding to small businesses or social enterprises.

Unltd

www.unltd.org.uk

A charity that supports social entrepreneurs. Includes information about practical and financial support that is available.

 

 

Other Funding Organisations

 

The Social Enterprise Loan Fund Ltd

www.tself.org.uk

Provides funding or information on organisations who can provide funding to small businesses or social enterprises.

 

Access to Finance

www.goeast.org

The Access to Finance Programme is designed to support small businesses across all the 33 London boroughs in raising finance either to start-up or expand. It helps you prepare your proposal for funding. You can book an appointment at the East London Small Business Centre.

 

Head for Business

www.headforbusinesscic.com

This is an organisation that’s helps individuals and other organisations or community groups to discuss and develop their business ideas.

 

Street Cred (Quaker Social Action)

www.quakersocialaction.com/streetcred.htm

This is a micro-credit lending organisation that helps unemployed women in East London start a business.

 

Grants

The Prince’s Trust Loans

www.princes-trust.org.uk

Provides low-interest loans for young people (30 and under) starting their own business.

 

Online information on grants

www.j4b.co.uk

www.smallbusinessadvice.org.uk

 

Shell LiveWire

www.shell-livewire.org

Source of free information and advice for young people looking to start a business in the UK.

 

Business Angels/Investors

 

Angels Den

www.angelsden.co.uk

Connects business angels with entrepreneurs.

Dragon’s Den

www.bbc.co.uk/dragonsden

Allows you to pitch your ideas to a panel of investors for funding of up to £250,000. Some of those who apply can be seen in it’s television programme on BB2.

 

Dragon’s Den Online

This is the online version and only has funding for up to £50,000.

Business Angels Network

www.bestmatch.co.uk

 

Venture Capital

British Venture Capital Association

www.bvca.co.uk

 

Support for Special Groups

 

Ethnic minority:

 

BME Women’s Aspirations Network

www.bawn.org.uk

For the black and ethnic minority business women. Monthly network meetings, courses and events.

 

National Black Women’s Network

www.nbwn.org

An organisation dedicated to raising the profile and achievements of black women in society.

 

Faith based businesses

ABI Associates- Faith In Business

www.faithinbusiness.co.uk.

 

Encourages enterprise within the Black and Asian Community. Provides business support and training and can help with loan applications and covers mostly West London.

 

Graduate Entrepreneurs

 

The National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship

www.ncge.com

Provides a wide range of information and services to help graduates into business.

 

Mature People (50+):

 

Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME)

www.primeinitiative.org.uk

If you are over fifty and wanting to start your own business, then there special resources to help you get started and networking opportunities with other mature business people.

 

Disabled People:

 

Disabled Entrepreneurs Network

Founded by the Association of Disabled Professional- an award winning and registered charity, the aim is to provide networking opportunities and information services for self-employed disabled people.

www.disabled-entrepreneurs.net

www.apd.org.uk

 

Ready to Start

www.readytostart.org.uk

Run by Leonard Cheshire Disability in partnership with Barclays, provides disabled entrepreneurs with specialist help.

 

Low Income/Living on Benefits:

 

The government runs different schemes to help people get back into work or start a business and gives you a little more to help you stay in work by way of extra benefits and allowances. You might be able to still receive some of these benefits while you start your business.

 

New Deal Plus/New Deal for Lone Parents-

Self-Employment Programme (soon to be changed to Flexible New Deal)

If you have been on Income Support or Jobseekers for several months, you can ask to go on this programme. It allows you to keep your all your benefits for up to 6 months while you start your business. There are 3 stages. You have to first see a business advisor to discuss your idea and do research, attend a short course and then start trading. You will also receive £15 a week for expenses.

 

Budgeting Loan

Budgeting Loans is a one off payment for essential items. You can get it if you are on Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance. You can use it to buy equipment or anything to do with your business start up. It is means tested and has to be paid back but in very small amounts usually over 2 years. (lone parents can get up £812, couples £1,500)

 

Crisis Loan

This is a small amount you could apply for if you need money very quickly like in cases of emergency or disaster. They are interest free but have to be paid back. You have to give specific reasons why you need the money.

 

Council Tax – low income rate

After you start your business and if you only make a small income, you may be able to get run on of about 2 weeks of the normal amount and then lower rate of Council Tax benefits

 

Housing Benefit – low income rate

This is same as the Council Tax, - run on and then lower rate if on low income. You have to apply for both before you start your business.

 

Other benefits to consider:

  • Sure Start Maternity Grant
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Carers Allowance
  • For more information :
  • Ask your Job Centre or New Deal Advisor
  • Call the Benefits Enquiry Line on 0800882200
  • Check for benefits yourself on www.direct.gov.uk

 

To find out what you may be entitled to, visit www.entitltedto.co.uk

Look on the Business Link website:www.businesslink.gov.uk

Find out what funding is available locally from your local council.

 

Please note

Details of benefits are subject to change, please seek advice from the appropriate departments. You can only get some these payments if you have been on benefits for a certain amount of time.

 

 

 

Other Sources of Funding

 

Business Awards

Awards are a great way to finance and raise the profile of your business. They are a mark of achievement and a valuable source of funding. Amounts vary but the potential future revenue it can generate can be an important reason why customers may decide between your products and another competitor. There are potential hundreds of awards competitions taking place around the country from various companies and organisations. You can apply for these in the early days of your business. You can find more information on business and networking sites. Visit the Business Link website for awards nationwide. Also see the EVENTS page for more ideas.

 

 

 

Business Plan Competitions

These are a useful way to find the money you need and helps you get valuable feedback from business experts. Most come with a cash prize and support. Look out for these on the web and forthcoming business exhibitions. Companies like BT have been known sponsor competitions with other enterprise organisations and in conjunction with their products.

 

Enterprise Agencies in London

 

Enterprise agencies are government funded organisations set up to help people get essential information and advice to allow them to successfully start their businesses. They provide help in many forms for free or for a small fee. Their activities and services that they offer can include start-up information, mentoring, help to find funding, incubator units and training courses.

 

The following are the enterprise agencies in the London area. If you live outside of London, contact the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies at www.nfea.com for your nearest local enterprise agency.

 

GLE London (covers 33 London boroughs)

www.one-london.com

 

Brent Business Venture Ltd (covers Brent)

www.bbv.co.uk

 

Business Enterprise Centre (covers Hammersmith and Fulham)

www.bectek.co.uk

 

Business Extra (covers Southwark, Lambeth & Wandsworth)

www.bizetra.biz

 

Business Focus (covers South London)

www.business-focus.co.uk

 

Centa Business Services (covers Central London)

www.centa.co.uk

 

Croydon Business Venture Ltd (covers Croydon & London South)

www.cbvltd.co.uk

 

East London Small Business Centre (covers Tower Hamlets, Newham, Redbridge, Havering, Barking and Dagenham)

www.goeast.org

 

Enterprise Enfield (covers North London and Broxbourne)

www.enterpriseenfield.org

 

HBV Enterprise (covers Greater London)

www.hbv.org.uk

 

Haringey Business Development Agency Ltd (covers Haringey, Enfield & Walthamstow)

www.hbda.org.uk

 

Harrow in Business (covers West London: Harrow, Ealing, Brent, Hounslow & Hillingdon)

www.hib.org.uk

 

Portobello Business Centre Ltd (covers Central London)

www.pbc.co.uk

 

Skills & Enterprise Development Academy (SEDA, covers London)

www.skills-enterprise.co.uk

 

Small Business Solutions Ltd (covers London)

www.sbsltd.net

 

South East Enterprise Ltd (covers London)

www.seenterprise.co.uk

 

The Innovatory (covers London)

www.theinnovatory.com

 

Thurrock Local Enterprise Agency Limited

www.tlea.co.uk

 

HELPFUL WEBSITES & ORGANISATIONS

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