Southwark Business Support & Advice

Southwark businesses are more likely to succeed if they seek and act upon the advice of a professional business adviser. This page is designed to point you in the right direction.

"You don't know, what you don't know" is a great saying and so applicable to starting a business. There are so many considerations in the early stages that taking advice from an experienced business adviser will dramatically increase your chances of success.

See list of local business support organisations below.

Free Local Business Advice

If you would like some start-up advice or guidance, please complete and submit this form.



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You Can’t Know Everything!

Southwark advice for start-ups

If you only take one thing away from this site, please can it be that accepting advice (from the right person/people) is probably the one single action that will have the most impact on your chances of setting up a sustainable business.

Statistics unfortunately do re-enforce the belief that many new businesses do not last beyond their first anniversary. However, they also show that over 80% of those who sought professional advice prior to launch not only survive, they thrive.

There are three possible outcomes when a potential start-up asks for help.

1. You are not the right type of person.

This is the least common of the three options but some people are just not suited to running their own business. It sometimes has to be accepted that either a person’s personality or circumstances may make conventional employment a more sensible option.

2. You are suited but the idea is flawed

In this case, it is possible to investigate further to assess whether the plan is basically sound but in need of change or if it should be shelved altogether. A proposition which has little chance of survival is best forgotten and effort put into finding a better idea. Just because the idea was not right, it does not mean that you aren’t suitable either. Going through the exercise will help shape future thinking by highlighting what should be avoided next time. If the idea is a good one but contains weaknesses, an independent adviser will be able to use their previous experience and knowledge to help you iron out the wrinkles and in doing so possibly save you a lot of wasted energy and expense.

3. Both you and the business are ideal.

In this instance, it will have done you no harm to have gone through a sanity check and to be re-assured that you are heading in the right direction.

In conclusion, you have nothing to lose!

See below for details of local and national business support agencies as well as some ideas of where you can find out more information (online and off line) about starting a business.

Useful Resources

Useful Start-Up Resources

We are keen to share as many useful resources with you as we can but please note that one time registration is required to unlock all of the free items on this site.


Step-by-step guide
How to Start a Business Step-by-Step

An easy to read, step-by-step guide to setting up your own business. Each step is explained briefly and in plain English. Links to all required documents are included as are simple 'to do' lists at each stage. Perfect for the budding entrepreneur who does not want to get bogged down with theory.

Start-Up Checklist
Business Start-Up Checklist

"You don't know what you don't know!" Plot your progress with this 125+ point checklist. There are so many things to think about in the early stages, it is easy to overlook something if you are not careful. We hope that his simple tool will prevent that from happening.

Business Plan Template
Business Plan Template

One of the most important steps but is often ignored. This document will provide you with a clear road-map for your business and ensure that you have considered all of the key issues whether you want to borrow money or not.

Start-Up Map
Business Start-Up Map

This infographic has proved to be incredibly popular and used to occupy the centre pages of our Start-Up newspapers. Ideal for a visual guide through the start-up process or the larger (A3) version can be printed and used as a poster. (Larger sizes available )

Start Your Own Business CD
Start Your Own Business CD

Several years ago, we created a CD based upon the start-up map. You can now download the whole folder and enjoy this interactive experience. Navigate your way through the map and learn about each stage of the start-up 'journey'!

Start Your Own Business Powerpoint
How to Start a Business Powerpoint Presentation

Designed to complement the business plan template, this Powerpoint presentation can be personalised and you are welcome to use it without charge. Ideal for educational and business support organisations.

Please do contact us if you know of any other resources that should be listed here, thanks.

Southwark Business Advice

Useful Start-Up Resources

If you can help new business start ups or existing small businesses in the Southwark area, we would love to promote you here free of charge. (Add Your Business)

Cavendish Enterprise

Cavendish Enterprise is a group of highly respected enterprise agencies from across the country, who have come together working in partnership to deliver nationwide contracts supporting start up and growing businesses.

Enterprise Nation

ince launching in 2005, Enterprise Nation have helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses, and, led by founder Emma Jones MBE, Enterprise Nation continues to be the most active UK small business community and a leading campaigning voice for small business. Joining Enterprise Nation connects you with over 70,000 start-up entrepreneurs,
small business owners and enterprise experts.

National Enterprise Network

The National Enterprise Network is a membership body for those committed to the support and development of enterprise. Members are not-for-profit organisations which provide independent and impartial advice, training and mentoring to new and emerging businesses. As well as enterprise agencies, Members also include Chambers of Commerce, local authorities, further and higher education providers and other specialist enterprise support providers.

Key activities include representing the sector with key stakeholders in central government, official agencies and the private sector, providing unique membership products and services to members and managing national business support contracts such as the Barclays Let's Talk Business series.

According to member research collected for 2011/2012, our network of enterprise support organisations supported the creation of 17,500 businesses over the last year and almost 25,000 new jobs. Our members operated loan funds in the region of

Start Up Britain

StartUp Britain is a campaign by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. They offer inspiration, resources and guidance to help people start and grow their own business.

Start Up Donut

The Start-Up Donut website contains sections dedicated to starting a business by sector (over 200 types covered); Marketing; Law; Technology; and Tax. Part of the range of Donut sites, it also has weekly news updates aimed at start-ups and existing businesses.

The Prince's Trust

The Prince's Trustwork with 18 to 30-year-olds to turn big ideas into a business reality through their Enterprise programme. From training and mentoring support to funding and resources, they are with you every step of the way. Since 1983 the Prince's Trust helped over 80,000 young people to start their own business.

X Forces

Support armed forces and emergency service communities to start up businesses across the UK with Start Up Loans, mentoring and support.

Business Business Coaching for Growth

The Business Coaching for Growth programme (BCG) aims to propel the nation's most promising high growth SME's and boost economic growth. It is designed to achieve maximum economic advantage to the UK by increasing the number of businesses that achieve genuine high growth; the businesses that contribute the most too economic and employment growth.
Telephone Tel: 08444 632995
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business Business in the Community

Business in the Community mobilises business for good. Its members commit to improve the way in which they manage their resources, be that their people or the planet. Its power is the unique platform this creates for collaborative action.
Telephone Tel: 020 7566 8650
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business Department for Work and Pensions -

On 5 October 2010 the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions announced that the Government will give extra help to unemployed people who want to start their own business, through the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA). NEA is available to Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) claimants aged 18 and over who have been claiming for 26-weeks or more. Participants will get access to a volunteer business mentor who will provide guidance and support as they develop their business plan and through the early months of trading. Once a claimant can demonstrate they have a viable business proposition with the potential for growth in the future, they will be able to access financial support.
Telephone Tel:
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business Enterprise Nation

We help people start and grow their businesses by putting them in touch with other business owners, by providing access to the best tools and resources, and by sharing our own knowledge - on our blog, in our books and at our live events. And you can help out too!
Telephone Tel:
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business Greater London Enterprise (GLE)

Pathway to self-employment workshop. Do you have a great business idea? If so, join us for a free, half-day workshop to explore whether self-employment or starting a business is the best option for you. This workshop will also introduce you to the basics of managing change and the legal frameworks of a business. People who live in Camden, City of London, Hackney, Islington, Lambeth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets or Westminster, who are exploring whether self-employment or starting a business is the best option for them. Contact Joe Slater by telephoning 0800 032 0946 or email businessadvice@gle.co.uk or alternatively register online at http://www.basls.co.uk/business-events.php
Telephone Tel: 0207 940 1570 / 0800 032 0946
AreasAreas covered: Camden,Westminster,Lambeth,City of London,Southwark

Business HMRC

HM Revenue & Customs offers a new FREE e-learning tool that advises on the tax and National Insurance issues involved in starting your own business. The package includes learning checks and videos as well as links to further advice on YouTube & gov.uk website.
Telephone Tel: Contact via website.
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business Intellectual Property Office

Free advice for entrepreneurs. Business owners and entrepreneurs can get free advice on protecting their brands and inventions.
Telephone Tel: 1633811427
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business Mentors Me

Mentor Me offers businesses access to a list of quality-assured business mentoring organisations across Britain. An easy-to-use search engine allows businesses to refine their searches according to the life stage of their business and their location in Britain. Their objective is to help businesses find a mentoring organisation to suit their needs in a fast and easy way.
The site also allows business professionals to offer their services as a business mentor via the mentoring organisations listed. Aspiring mentors may want to work in a particular area of Britain and have a particular area of expertise to offer. The search engine allows them to locate mentoring organisations that are the closest match to their profile.
Telephone Tel:
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business Mentorsme

Mentorsme.co.uk is Britain's first online gateway for small and medium-sized enterprises looking for mentoring services. The free site offers businesses access to a list of quality-assured business mentoring organisations across Britain. An easy-to-use search engine allows businesses to refine their searches according to the life stage of their business and their location in Britain.
Telephone Tel:
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business PRIME

The PRIME Initiative provides free information, events and training to help older people get back into work by starting their own business - also known as becoming self-employed. The charity's activities are needed because the over-50s face huge problems of unemployment and age discrimination in the conventional job market.
Telephone Tel: 0800 783 1904
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business Prowess

Prowess is the UK association of organisations and individuals who support the growth of women's business ownership. Our work encompasses raising awareness, sharing of best practice, advocacy and information. Prowess has over 300 members who support 100,000 women each year to start 10,000 new businesses which contribute an additional
Telephone Tel: 01603 762355
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business School For Start Ups

The inspiration of serial entrepreneur and angel investor Doug Richard, School for Startups is the UKs leading provider of business training for entrepreneurs. We provide expert tuition on the critical issues entrepreneurs need to understand, including how to start a business, finance and investment, product management, managing successful teams and entrepreneurial marketing.
Telephone Tel: 07702 313 226.
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business Shaw Trust

Shaw Trust is a national charity which supports disabled and disadvantaged people to prepare for work, find jobs and live more independently.
Telephone Tel: 01225 716 300
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business Shell Livewire

The UK's biggest online community for young entrepreneurs (aged 16-30) who are starting or running their own business. Register for your FREE Shell LiveWIRE account so you can;Apply for business funding including our monthly
Telephone Tel: 0191 423 6229
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business Social Enterprise Coalition

Social Enterprise UK is the national body for social enterprise
Our members are social enterprises as well as private businesses, charities and public sector organisations who support our vision of a world where social enterprise is the usual way of doing business.
Telephone Tel: 020 3589 4950
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business Startup Britain

StartUp Britain is a national campaign by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, harnessing the expertise and passion of Britain's leading businesspeople to celebrate, inspire and accelerate enterprise in the UK. The campaign was founded by eight entrepreneurs and launched on 28th March 2011 by the Prime Minister, with the full support of the Chancellor and HM Government, although it is completely funded by our private-sector sponsors
Telephone Tel:
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business The Association of Business Mentors

The aim of this not-for-profit Association is to protect and promote credible business mentoring in the UK. You can find local mentors via the directory on their site.
Telephone Tel: 0208 7980835
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business The Intellectual Property Office

The Intellectual Property Office is the official government body responsible for Intellectual Property (IP) rights in the United Kingdom. These rights include Patents, Designs, Trade marks, Copyright.
Telephone Tel: 0300 0200 015
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business The Prince's Trust

The Prince's Trust is a UK charity that helps young people overcome barriers and get their lives working. They help young people realise their potential and transform their lives.

Services include: Business Programme. Funding and support to help young people (aged 18-30) to start their own business. Low interest loan of up to
Telephone Tel: See website for full details.
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide

Business Young Enterprise

With more than 40 years' experience, Young Enterprise is the UK's leading business and enterprise education charity. The businesses and volunteers that support Young Enterprise take an active role in building a better-motivated, educated and enterprising workforce, at the same time making a real difference to the existing lives and future potential of young people who live and attend school in their area.
Telephone Tel: 01865 776845
AreasAreas covered: Nationwide



Add Your Business

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