May 9, 2020

10 of the best sources for business support

Whether you have a business idea or a developed organisation, you may need to turn to someone for advice. The media is full of information on sources of financing, personal and business development, exports etc. We've done the research and selected the best sources of business support for you so that you can focus on your business.

1. Innovation

Innovation is the application of knowledge or ideas for the development of products, services or processes – whether in business, public services, or non-profit sectors. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is central to delivering research and innovation for economic growth and societal impact.

UK Research and Innovation support innovation through a variety of activities:

• training skilled people and supporting their movement within the economy

• developing collaborative research programmes

• investing in major research capabilities

• supporting businesses to realise the potential of new technologies, develop ideas and make them a commercial success.

• supporting impact-related capabilities such as Innovation and Knowledge Centres and Research and Innovation Campuses.

Click here or here for more information

2. Women in business

The proportion of small and medium-sized companies run by women is increasing and there are a wide number of business networks specifically for women. These networks offer events, support and advice, and can be online or meet in person. There are also government schemes which can help parents balance work and family life.

Click here for more information

3. Local Growth Hubs

If you are looking for business, support or guidance, your local Growth Hub is there to help you.

Use the list below to locate the Growth Hub nearest to you:

Click here for more information

4. Federation of Small Business

A not-for-profit organisation with the best interests of self-employed and small business members. Local support, networking, business benefits provided at no extra cost and a powerful voice heard in government.

From day one of your membership you'll have access to the below benefits in addition to our bespoke funding platform, preferential rates on mobile and card payment terminals and a discounted workplace pensions scheme.

• FSB Legal Protection Scheme

• FSB PR/Crisis Management

• FSB Care

• FSB Cyber Protection

• FSB Insurance Service

• FSB Debt Recovery

• FSB Employment Protection

• FSB Health and Safety Advice

• FSB Legal Hub

• FSB First Voice

Click here for more information

5. The - managed by the Department for International Trade

A feast for information seekers and support about international opportunities for your business.

On the website you can find advice about:

• Create an export plan

• Find an export market

• Choose a route to market

• Get export finance

• Manage payment for export orders

• Prepare to do business in a foreign country

• Prepare for export procedures and logistics

• Sell services overseas

• Manage the risk of bribery and corruption

• Find new markets for your business

• Use our guides to identify new export markets and inform your international sales plan.

• Our market guides can help you find export opportunities and prepare to do business in new markets.


• Create a business profile

• Create your free business profile and promote your company to overseas buyers.

• Find online marketplaces

• Identify and apply to sell with marketplaces to reach international consumers

• Find export opportunities

• Search for opportunities and pitch your company to overseas buyers who are looking for products and services like yours

• UK Export Finance

• Get the finance you need to compete and grow

• Find events and visits

• Attend events and see how visits by ministers can support your trade deals

• Get an EORI number

• To move goods into or out of the EU you need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number

• Report a trade barrier

• Tell us if you’re having problems getting goods, services or investments into overseas markets

Click here for more information

6. Apprenticeship Grants

Apprenticeship grants support employers in offering work and training to young individuals through the apprenticeship programme.

The quantity of funding awarded depends on your business area, and the criteria met, with finance for 16-18-year-olds subsidised at 100%. Generally, under the current scheme if you do not pay the apprenticeship levy (you’d only pay this if your payroll is over £3 million) then you’re eligible to cover 95% of the cost of training and assessing apprentices via government funding. The grant scheme also offers a £1,000 payment incentives for businesses taking on an apprentice aged 16-18 or 19-24 with an EHC plan.

Click here for more information

7. Acadium

Get the marketing help you need.

In exchange for your coaching and guidance, Acadium apprentices help you with your marketing, unpaid, as part of their training.

Click here for more information

8. The Rehire Project

During the current global crisis, a lot of employers have to make the tough decision to place their workers on furlough or let them go. We all want this decision to be temporary and for workers to be able to get back to their jobs as quickly as possible.

The Rehire Project is a talent pool and communication platform that allows employers and workers to stay in contact during these difficult times and makes the rehiring of workers as easy as possible when the opportunity arises.

• Free for small businesses.

• Also, any profits are being donated to NHS and WHO charities during the current crisis

Click here for more information

9. Google Digital Garage

Discover a range of free learning content designed to help your business or in your career. You can learn by selecting individual modules, or dive right in and take an entire course end-to-end. 126 courses are available.

You can choose a course provider from:

• Google

• Applied Digital Skills

• Coursera

• Darden School of Business, University of Virginia

• Deakin University

• FutureLearn

• Goodwill Community Foundation

• Grasshopper

• Monash University

• National Chiao Tung University

• OpenClassrooms

• Skillshop

• The Open University

• Udacity

• University of Auckland

• University of Groningen

• University of Helsinki

Click here for more information

10. Future Learn

Transform your organisation, close skills gaps, and more.

Learn for free, upgrade, or buy Unlimited.

FutureLearn offers you a powerful new way to learn online. Every course has been designed according to principles of effective learning, through storytelling, discussion, visible learning, and using community support to celebrate progress.

Course subjects:

• Business & Management

• Creative Arts & Media

• Healthcare & Medicine

• History

• IT & Computer Science

• Language

• Law

• Literature

• Nature & Environment

• Politics & Society

• Psychology & Mental Health

• Science, Engineering & Maths

• Study Skills

• Teaching

Click here for more information

We hope you will find something for your company. If you know other sources of support for business please contact us at

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