Advice and guidance for new businesses

smiling man wearing blue shirt and tie

Starting a new business can seem like a daunting prospect. To help you, we've have collated some useful links to signpost you to available support.

Business Support Helpline

The Business Support Helpline offers impartial advice and guidance to new and existing businesses. It has information on national and local schemes, grants and loans to help businesses start and grow.

If you need more in-depth impartial advice, a team of advisers can provide personalised support including a free telephone appointment service. The Helpline can be accessed via telephone, webchat, email and social media.  Calls to 0300 number will cost the same as calls to geographic numbers.

Contact 0300 456 3565 (Monday to Friday, 9am - 6pm) or [email protected].

Co-operative Futures

A policy and development organisation supporting the co-operative, mutual and social enterprise sector across Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire. It offers free information, advice and support to emerging, new and existing co-operatives, mutual and social enterprises. It can take groups through the stages needed to assess their business idea, help them decide on the type of legal structure that would be most appropriate for their organisation, give some advice or support on a specific problem, or just be a sounding board for any ideas or problems.

Fredericks Foundation

A charity organisation that helps disadvantaged people to set up or expand their own business by providing a comprehensive range of business support and micro-loan funding for business start-ups and small businesses. The Fredericks Foundation offers support for people who cannot access finance through more mainstream channels.


GOV.UK replaces the previous Business Link website and provides the information, advice and support you need to start, maintain and grow a business, including setting up a business, finance and grants, health and safety, tax, and employing staff.

Shell LiveWIRE

The UK's biggest online community for young entrepreneurs (aged 16-30) who are starting or running their own business. Gain access to online support, funding and free help and advice.

Start and Grow Enterprise

Start and Grow Enterprise is a fantastic project supporting entrepreneurs and start-up businesses in Gloucestershire. The project can support anyone with a business idea, and existing start-ups trading up to 3 years. The project offers free training, events, networks and resources, plus access to mentoring, co-working space, and the opportunity to apply for funding. This is a University of Gloucestershire programme, part-funded by ERDF, and will run until December 2019. It is based at The Growth Hub in Gloucester.

Contact 01242 715477 or [email protected]

The Prince's Trust

Provides support including business training, key skills, confidence and motivation mentoring and financial assistance for people aged 14-30 years who wish to start up their own business, such as the Enterprise Programme that provides money and support to help young people start-up in business.