There are a wide range of organisations providing a variety of business support and advice.
For your first point of call, go to BEST Growth Hub which provides free advice on business start-up, development and funding for businesses in Essex.
The new Best Growth Hub helps businesses realise their growth potential, whether starting-up, growing or wishing to find funding for a new venture.
BEST provide an enthusiastic team of Business Navigators who can meet you at your business premises to discuss your needs and identify ways to help your business to succeed and grow. Advice can be given on grants and loans and up to date latest business support opportunities available in your area including news and eventsFind out more information
The Government website provides detailed information on how to write a business plan covering objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasting. There is the also the opportunity to view examples on business plans along with a free business plan template.
The Business and IP Centre
The Business and IP Centre at the British Library aims to support businesses, entrepreneurs and inventors grow their organisations in whichever industry they maybe in. Their purpose is to provide business support, advice and resources, which include advice on writing a business plan.
The Prince's Trust Enterprise programme supports entrepreneurs setting up a business whilst supporting those growing businesses. The programme offers free training, mentoring and low interest loans. In addition they provide one to one support service to help write business plans.
The Start Up Donut
The Start Up Donut is aimed at helping businesses to succeed by providing reliable information and resources that can save business owners time and money. They also provide checklists and advice on writing a business plan.
Startacus is a self start society. It is a community of startups, entrepreneurs, creative’s, dreamers, innovators and self starters. They provide information, support and inspiration to help make starting, sustaining or growing a business as easy as possible.
Virgin Start Up is a company for entrepreneurs. They help businesses get funding and a mentor so new businesses can get ahead. Their support services include: content and resources, business advice, mentoring, funding, offers and discounts.
Essex Rivers Programme
The LEADER programme is aimed at rural businesses and community organisations. £1.8 million Grant Funding is available until 2020 from the Essex Rivers LEADER European Programme. The eligible area includes rural parts of Brentwood, Colchester, Chelmsford, Braintree, Rochford and Maldon local authority areas.
Essex Innovation Programme
The Essex Innovation Programme provides support to companies at the early and established stage to help develop and exploit their creative and innovative commercial development ideas. Companies can receive support through a range of free businesses services on topics including, funding, market opportunity, proof of concept, planning, business process design, business planning and more.
LOCASE Low Carbon Programme
The LoCASE project is an EU/local authority backed scheme available for small and medium enterprise (SME) business in the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) region. LoCASE helps businesses look at their energy efficiency and considers how to save money in this area; once areas of improvement are identified it provides grants to help businesses use less energy and produce less carbon, and offer business support and advise on changes to business practices.
The Superfast Essex Broadband Project is being led by Essex County Council as an investment in Essex’s broadband infrastructure. It will bring improved superfast broadband to homes and businesses across the county. The aim is for 90% of the county to have access to Superfast Broadband.
KEEP+ Partnership, led by Anglia Ruskin University has secured £9.4m from the European Regional Development Fund to support businesses to innovate and grow. The funding will enable small and medium-sized enterprises across the East and the South East of England to connect with the expertise of Universities.
Essex Trading Standards
Essex Trading Standards is a part of Essex County Council and is responsible for ensuring that both businesses and consumers understand their legal rights and responsibilities in relation to legislation that falls within its remit. In support of this initiative there is also a trading standards helpline available.
Brentwood Borough Council Regulatory Advice
Brentwood Borough Council offers local businesses advisory and informative services on subject areas which are important with the day to day running of any type of business, this includes; business rates, health and safety, waste and recycling, licensing and more.
Foundation East is an organisation that lends money to new and existing businesses, self employed people and social enterprises that cannot obtain a loan from a bank or need additional funds to match bank lending. They operate across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.
Business Innovation & Skills
The Department for Business Innovation & Skill is the department for economic growth. The department invests in skills and education to promote trade, boost innovation and help people to start and grow a business. BIS is a ministerial department, supported by 47 agencies and public bodies.
HM Revenue & Customs
The HM Revenue & Customs(HRMC) department is responsible for the administration and collection of direct taxes including; income tax , corporation tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, indirect taxes, excise duties, stamp duty land tax, environmental taxes such as Air Passenger Duty and the climate change levy.
Intellectual Property Office
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official UK government body that can help you get the right type of protection for your creation or invention. It’s responsibilities include examining issuing or rejecting patents whilst maintaining registers of intellectual property.
UK Trade & Investment
The UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) works with UK based businesses of all sizes to provide advice, expertise and support so to ensure their success within international markets. There are a variety of export services available from online information, overseas events, international trade advisors and bespoke exporting strategies.