Support for starting a new business

Whether you are just starting to think about your business idea or looking for help with a new start up there is lots of support available. Some of the support is local within Bolton and some is regional and even national. Look at the resources and links below and see which are most beneficial to you.

Local support

Ask Bolton Libraries
A boroughwide enquiry service providing businesses with multiple resources to suit their needs including, company information, financial data and statistics, legal standards information, market research and information for start-ups, mailing lists and more.

Jobcentre Plus New Enterprise Allowance
Referrals have to be made by a Jobcentre Personal Advisor. Open to those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support as a lone parent or in the Work-Related Activity Group of the Employment and Support Allowance.

Regional support

Ask About Business
Library resources: finding business ideas, business planning, market research, trade and business directories, intellectual property advice, free credit checks.

Natwest Entrepreneurial Spark (ESpark)
The world’s largest free business accelerator for early stage and growing ventures.  Registration taking place now.

COBRA Business Resources

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
Provide business support to companies of all shapes and sizes, through a range of sector-based membership services and networking opportunities

Stockport Business & Innovation Centre (Broadstone Mill)
Incubation and serviced office space, managed by Oxford Innovation.

Idea Alive
Accelerator programme to create high growth businesses in the digital and creative sectors (IT, healthcare, science, media / education).

Incubation Space. Hot desking and Start up space including business support and mentoring

Grants and mentoring for social entrepreneurs

School for Social Entrepreneur
Providing training, networking and ongoing opportunities for social entrepreneurs in the North West.

Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Entrepreneur Exchange
MMU is working as part of a European partnership to help promote innovative small business start-ups, specifically in the food, hospitality and tourism sector. Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (No upper age limit - Open to people with a new business idea and businesses within first 3 years of trading) is a cross-border EU exchange programme, which gives new or aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to learn from experienced entrepreneurs running small businesses in other European Union countries.

M2L Digital Marketing
M2L Digital Marketing Programme is designed to help SME marketers make more of their marketing spend

Salford University Business support services

MedTECH Centre Incubator
A joint venture between NHS and Manchester Science Parks for fostering small healthcare ventures

Europe's angel-led accelerator programme. Opens in Manchester in January 2016.

Mad Lab
Digital innovation org based in the Northern Quarter  are currently accepting applications for their arts and tech accelerator.  Successful applicants will receive bespoke creative & business development, mentoring, financial support and access to workshops.
Part funded by Innovate UK.

Co-working Incubation space.

National support

Start up Britain Campaign

Business is Great Campaign [more for established businesses]

Princes Trust
A National charity supporting young people to start a business

Santander University Portal
Pitching, Competition, Business Support, Learning and Networking for start ups and SMEs

Virgin Start up
Help businesses get funding, get a mentor and get ahead.

Enterprise Nation
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 their own knowledge

HM Revenue & Customs offers a 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 & website.

Intellectual Property Office (IPO)
Free advice for entrepreneurs. Business owners and entrepreneurs can get free advice on protecting their brands and inventions.

A Government website matching businesses with mentors.

Step by step guide to Starting and Finance a New Business.  Click HERE to download [Or full link:

Government exporting site

Business in the Community
Responsible Business Network, businesses coming together to tackle a wide range of issues that are essential to building a fairer society and a more sustainable future.

Goldman Sachs Programme.
The 10,000 Small Businesses programme, for a business or commercially-focused social enterprise that has been trading for at least 12 months, employs between 5 - 40 staff and is scalable and poised for growth

The School for Startups
Business Advice and training for Start up businesses

Creative Industries Finance (CIF)
A programme designed to assist creative enterprises and arts cultural organisations in securing the finance and investment needed to develop and grow into sustainable businesses, delivered and managed by Creative United.  Offers 1:1 tailored business advice, with a focus on supporting enterprises and organisations through the process of applying to one of our lending partners for a business loan. The programme is delivered in partnership with a specially selected group of lenders and a network of expert business advisors.

Book Your Data
Helpful tips on running an online business.

X-Forces support service leavers and their families to start up businesses across the UK with Government backed Start up Loans, mentoring and support.

More resources and information on:

  • Accelerators
  • Incubators
  • Hot Desking facilities
  • Funders, etc…