Resources & Useful Links

Business Start-Up Support

Resources and Useful Links

We will place useful links and resources on this page.

If you have any suggestions, please contact Lesley Robinson at

Business & IP Centre Cumbria 

The BIPC is here to support everyone in business from the person with the bright idea who needs help making it real, the business looking to progress from where they are to the next level and the well established business to break into new markets and grow.  This can be achieved through our expert advisors offering help with business planning, IP and trademarking audits, our growing team of ‘Experts In residence’ who offer monthly webinars and drop in sessions on all areas of business support, or our amazing range of business tool databases that can all be accessed for free with a library card.

Welcome to Cumbria BIPC

Business Start-up Brand & Marketing Checklist

Creative Hutch have published a checklist of all the tasks you need to consider before you launch your business and also a list of tasks to help your business flourish and grow.

Download the checklist here

Barclays Eagle Labs Funding Readiness Programme

Programme designed to explain the funding landscape and options available to founders and entrepreneurs. Applications are now open for the next Funding Readiness Programme that begins 3 October 2022.

More information available here

Business insights with Barclays

Helpful information and advice for businesses – read up on business plans, funding options, managing cashflow, trading abroad and more.

More information available here

Start-up business account with Barclays

Start-up business accounts come with tools and support to help your new business thrive.

More information available here

Business Model Canvas

Business Model Canvas is a one page model to gain insight on customers, value proposition, channels, competition and finance.

More information at Barclays Eagle Labs

Barclays Eagle Labs

Barclays Eagle Labs latest videos and articles covering a wide range of topics to help you run and grow your business.

More information –

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 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.

British Business Bank

British Business Bank have created a Cash Flow Forecast template. This is an estimation of the money you expect your business to bring in and pay out over a period time. It should reflect all of your likely revenue sources (like sales or other payments from customers) and compare these against your likely business expenses (like supplier payments, premises rental and tax payments).

If you’re applying for a Start Up Loan, we require a 12-month forecast because, while these figures will no doubt change over that trading period, this is a good period of time for you – and us – to see how sustainable your plans are.

Download the free Cash Flow Forecast template that you may wish to use as part of your Start Up Loan application. The document includes a Personal Survival Budget template and a Business Plan template, which are also required for your application. Download here.

Allerdale Borough Council’s Markets webinar

Information to those thinking about taking a stall on one of our markets. It outlines the benefits of a market and why it is a great way to start a new business, or test how a product will fare.

Ofcom – Cheaper internet is available to customers on benefits

Customers on means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit or legacy equivalents are eligible for cheaper home broadband tariffs from several providers. Prices start from £15 a month.

See prices here.

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