Resources & Useful Links

Business Start Up

Resources and Useful Links

We will place useful links and resources on this page.

If you have any suggestions, please contact Lesley Robinson at

British Business Bank

Start-Up Loans


Start or grow your own business with the help of a government-backed Start Up Loan and free business support.

This is an alternative route for individuals looking for business loans to fund their start up.

More information at:

Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

Whether you are an entrepreneur wishing to start your own business, an early stage or more established SME looking to grow you may find it difficult obtaining the finance you need.

Microfinance can be used to fill the funding gap for growth and development projects.

Microfinance is available for a wide range of purposes including filling gaps in working capital, funding expansion projects, leasing commercial premises and asset acquisitions.

More information at:

HMRC Forum For Start-Ups

An online forum for start ups and small business owners has been launched by HMRC. The Small Business Forum is divided into three categories: starting your business, growing your business and managing your business. Forum users can post questions about filing tax returns, paying tax and using HMRC’s digital services. The questions can be answered by HMRC advisers and other forum users.

Read more about the forum at:

Start ups reminded of auto-enrolment duties

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has issued an alert to remind new business owners about their pension duties. All new business start ups from October 2017 will have instant automatic enrolment duties once they take on a member of staff. TPR has launched a new online resource centre with advice, guidance and tools to help start ups comply with their auto-enrolment duties. Charles Counsell, Executive Director of Automatic Enrolment, said: “From October, as soon as you take on staff you will have duties towards them. Anyone setting up a business and taking on staff will need to work automatic enrolment into their plans.”

For further information, go to:

Small Business Reputation and the Cyber Risk

Click here to view the Small Business Reputation and the Cyber Risk document

Avoid Under-Insurance

Click here to view the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) guide to avoiding under-insurance for small and medium-sized businesses.

Brexit-Related Under-Insurance

In particular, the guide will support small firms that are vulnerable to the risks of under-insurance as a result of uncertainty following the Brexit vote, such as currency fluctuations and higher prices for imported goods.

In the guide BIBA recommends that small firms consider the effects of leaving the EU on their business and factor this into the amount of their insurance cover.

For further information please click here

White papers from Experian

A comprehensive range of resources tackling everyday business challenges.

Sage’s Small Business Start-up Tools

Sage’s new interactive start-up tool distills all the vital elements of starting a new business into the most important six steps to take when getting underway, from finding financial support and creating a business plan, through to getting your costs under control and managing your taxes. The toolkit also provides some crucial free resources too, such as a business plan template and cash flow forecast template. You can find these below:

Business Readiness Quiz

This new interactive diagnostic quiz from Sage generates a personalised ‘readiness rating’ for entrepreneurs and future founders coupled with curated expert advice, inspiration and free resources targeting the ‘gaps’ in their knowledge across three core areas: finance, admin and mindset.

Take the quiz here to find out your own ‘business readiness rating’ along with the free resources to help you on your business journey.

ICAEW Business Advice Service

The ICAEW Business Advice Service (BAS) connects entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small and medium-sized businesses with ICAEW regulated accountancy firms who will provide a free initial consultation without obligation to discuss what they can do to safeguard their business at this difficult time.

You can find out about the Business Advice Service here.

The ICAEW website can give you access to business support ranging from Brexit, Coronavirus and more. Visit here to find out more.

UK Finance and Finpoint have launched a new Business Bank Account Finder tool which sets out the currently available bank account options. There is also a ‘Covid Update’ button on each available product, with those firms currently closed to applications from new businesses highlighted in yellow and those open to new customers displayed in green.

You can find out more information here:

HMRC Support

HMRC can help businesses understand what business expenses to claim, how and when to claim capital allowances and what records to be keeping. They are holding some live webinars with the latest information and the chance to ask questions.

Car expenses and the self-employed: If you’re using your own car for business, we’ll tell you about flat rate motoring expenses, calculating the actual costs, leasing a car and personal contract purchases. Monday, 23rd August, 11.45am-12.45pm. Register here:

Business expenses for the self-employed: Find out what business expenses are, what is and isn’t allowable, and how using simplified expenses can make life easier. Wednesday, 25th August, 9.45-10.45am. Register here:

Capital allowances for the self-employed: If you use the traditional method of accounting this webinar explains how to claim tax relief for vehicles and equipment you use in your business. Thursday, 19th August, 10.45-11.45. Register here:

Record keeping for the self-employed: Find out about setting up a record system, what you need to record and how long to keep your records. Tuesday, 17th August, 2021 9.45-10.45. Register here:

They have also created some useful videos:


GoCompare have put together a guide to small business insurance to help business owners understand why they need small business insurance and elements of cover that could be included in their small business insurance policy.

Business insurance will cover you for all sorts of unexpected events and will show your customers and employees that you have a well-run and trustworthy company.

You can find out more on their business insurance page here.

Further Information

If you think that somebody from outside the United Kingdom might buy through your website, please check out our further information on Exporting.

Royal Academy of Engineering Regional Talent Engines

This six-month programme supports aspiring entrepreneurs who have an engineering or technology idea that will help address some of today’s most pressing challenges. The programme will help participants refine their idea, make new connections, and learn the skills needed to launch a new startup. The programme provides a grant towards living and business costs, training workshops, business mentoring, coaching and peer workshops and events. The programme is open to applicants across the north west region and most training activities will take place in Liverpool as well as online. Activities will start January 2022.

Deadline for applications: Wednesday 3 November 4pm

Cost of support: free. Travel and accommodation to attend programme activities will be covered.
Programme starts: January 2022
Business stage: pre startup / early stage startup
Sectors: any engineering or technology sector
Eligibility criteria:
Delivered by: Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Hub

Get in Touch

Contact us today for help and advice on starting or growing your business.

Tel: 0844 257 8450


    • European Regional Development Fund
    • Cumbria Chamber of Commerce
    • University of Cumbria
    • South Lakeland District Council
    • Borough of Barrow-In-Furness
    • Allerdale Borough Council
    • Carlisle City Council
    • Eden District Council