Best Growth Hub

There is 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.

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 events.

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Essex International

Essex International is setup to help businesses and organisations find opportunities in China. By usung knowledge and network of contacts in China, Essex International can bring together Chinese businesses and government departments to help clients meet decision-makers that are interested in buying a product in particular. They can also help you navigate opaque regulations and provide communication support to help you conclude deals.


COBRA - Complete Business Reference Advisor

Find out about hundreds of business opportunities, including market potential and how to get started. Find out about start-up guides and ideas, business support in your area, market and sector guides and business rules and regulations.


Exiting the European Union

The UK is leaving the EU. Leaving the EU means your business or organisation may need to prepare for change. The Department for Exiting the European Union has put together a simple questionnaire to find out how to prepare your business or organisation.


South East Business Boost

South East Business Boost (SEBB) has secured support for businesses in Essex from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). SEBB is targeted at small to medium sized businesses or start-ups in the South East who are seeking to grow their business. Grants between £1,000 and £10,000 are available to fund up to 30% of the total cost of eligible goods and services. To find out whether your project is eligible for the funding and to get your application underway, please email 

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Manufacturing Growth Programme

The Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) provides free advice and support to manufacturing SMEs to help them grow and improve. Offers an independent business review to identify opportunities and create plans for growth and improvement, growth/improvement grants (contributions of 35% to cover implementation costs), connections to wider support to maximise opportunities, access to matched industry experts to provide consultancy and/or coaching tailored to the business needs.

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Entrepreneur Handbook

The Entrepreneur Handbook provides expert advice on every aspect on starting and growing a business including sales, finance and marketing.

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.

Prince's Trust

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.

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The Start Up Donut


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.

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Virgin Startup

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.

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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.



Invest ESSEX is an investment promotion agency (IPA) and business support provider, promoting the opportunity of Essex as a prime UK business location to international and UK companies. Invest ESSEX guides and supports businesses through every stage of business relocation, expansion or scale-up.

Superfast Essex

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.

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Keep+ Programme

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 such as business rates, health and safety, waste and recycling, licensing and more.

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Foundation East

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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