Starting a business

If you’re thinking of starting a business, you’ll need to come up with a realistic idea that you can turn into a product or service.

It does not have to be unique or even new – simply something you believe there is a market for. It’s important to research your market to make sure your customers will really pay for your product or service.

Of course, if you have come up with a unique new product you may be able to register your idea (link opens in new window) to make sure nobody copies it.

If you are new to running a business, there are several sources of help and advice that you can take advantage of.

Our business products

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Find out more about our Micro-Enterprise Programme – Setting up a small business from 1 to 5 people.

Find out more about our community micro-enterprise programme, which helps people who specifically want to set up a small business with a care, health or community focus.

Social enterprise

A social enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.

Social enterprises can help to achieve sustainable, healthy communities by:

  • helping to create jobs and wealth for the community
  • giving people the power to decide how to regenerate their neighbourhood
  • showing new ways to deliver public services
  • providing services for the community not provided by anyone else
  • helping to develop an inclusive society and active citizenship