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Starting or running a business

Running your own business can be incredibly rewarding. It can be an opportunity to do something that you love, and work in a way that suits your lifestyle. 

But setting up and running a business is not without its challenges, and it's important to get good advice to help your business to succeed. 

The government's main websiteGov.ukcontains information about starting up and running a business in the UK, including help if you're self employed or a sole trader. They also operate a business support helpline, Business Link, which offers support for people with a business idea, those looking to start a business for the first time, and for any new start-up or any existing businesses wishing to improve and grow their operations. You can call Business Link on 0845 600 9006

The government's New Enterprise Allowance scheme could give you money and support to help you start your own business. You need to be receiving certain benefits and have a business idea that could work.
These videos will give you more idea about what the scheme can offer:-

The Great Business website provides a tool to allow you to find out what financial support might be available to help you set up or grow your business.

Portobello Business Centre is a local enterprise agency, based in Kensington and Chelsea. It offers information, free advice and confidential guidance from qualified experts on issues such as accessing finance and funding, dealing with debt and cash-flow, recruiting staff, finding suppliers and looking for new business opportunities. 

Gov.UK has lots of useful information about Business Innovation and skills. 

Mentorsme connects companies with mentoring organisations that can support and guide their growth. 

The Kensington and Chelsea Chamber of Commerce is a membership organisation for local businesses. It provides its members with support to help their businesses grow, and opportunities to network with other business owners in the area.

The Prince's Trust Enterprise Programme supports unemployed young people aged 18-30 to work out if their business ideas are viable and whether self-employment is right for them. The programme can offer mentoring support and, for those that really need it, financial support to start a business, or mentoring support to secure goals in employment, education or training.

Popup Business School are alternative to the traditional way of starting a business. ​They have a free business course which shows a new way of thinking and practical ways to get your business idea off the ground.

Westminster Business Unit provides one front door for all your business needs, offering guidance and information on a wide range of issues. They currently help to provide affordable office space in Libraries, have grants to help businesses improve their broadband, work with Kings College to provide legal advice, and are starting a street market WIFI network 

GLE Group provides a range of financial products to unlock the potential of businesses and organisations across the UK, from grants and loans, to cashflow and equity finance.

The Business Growth Fund is a £2.5 billion equity investment fund backed by five of the largest banks in the UK. If you have sales of approximately £5 million - £100 million a year and need growth finance of around £2 million - £10 million the fund may be able to help.

CompeteFor is a free service that enables businesses to compete for contract opportunities linked to major public and private sector buying organisations, such as Transport for London (TfL), Crossrail and the Metropolitan Police.

Contracts Finder is a free service for businesses, government buyers and the public. This service comes from government under its transparency commitment, and you can find live contract opportunities, closed tender documentation, contract awards and contract documents. You can also subscribe to email alerts to receive updates on existing or new items.

Dept for International Trade (DIT) works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets, and encourage the best overseas companies to look to the UK as their global partner of choice.

The Carbon Trust is a not-for-profit company providing specialist support to help business boost returns by cutting carbon emissions, saving energy and using low carbon technologies.

WRAP works to help businesses reap the benefits of reducing waste, developing sustainable products and packaging, and using resources in an efficient way.

The Business & Intellectual Property Centre, at the British Library in London, is the place to go if you have a new idea for a business, service or product. It provides information on how to protect your idea or invention and provides free training, networking and support for business owners.

Designing Demand helps businesses discover how to become more innovative, more competitive and more profitable, through training, support and networking.

The Innovation UK Technology Strategy Board funds, supports and connects innovative businesses to accelerate sustainable economic growth.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea delivers low-cost Food Safety, Health and Safety and Public Health training to businesses and organisations across London.

The London Healthy Workplace Charter is a self-assessment tool and accreditation scheme that supports and rewards employers promoting staff health and wellbeing according to best practice. Support is available free of charge from a Healthy Workplace Advisor to support local employers in promoting staff wellbeing throughout their business or organisation. 
Healthy Workplace advice in Hammersmith and Fulham
Healthy Workplace advice in Kensington and Chelsea 
Healthy Workplace advice in Westminster

Fit For Work.  All employers across England and Wales can refer employees who have been off work for four weeks or more for a free Fit for Work referral. telephone: 0800 0778 844

The Health for Work Advice Line for Small Business is a free service that provides small business managers with expert advice and support they need to help employees experiencing ill health, minimising the impact on the business.

Jobcentre Plus Employer Direct online is a free service from Jobcentre Plus that allows you to notify jobs to the UK's most visited recruitment website. 

Apprenticeships can make your organisation more effective, productive and competitive by addressing your skills gaps directly. They are designed to help your employees reach a high level of competency and performance.