Getting the right support is central to making your business a success. Don't wait until you have set up your business to ask for help. The planning stage is crucial and there is a lot of help available that is tailored to the needs of young entrepreneurs.
1. Free business start-up support
Access free start-up business support from your local council. Contact them to get one-to-one advice from a business advisor and tailored guidance to develop your business plan.
2. Shell LiveWIRE
The Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Programme aims to support young, innovative entrepreneurs to meet the ever-increasing energy and resource needs of a fast-growing population.
The award is open to any entrepreneur aged 16-30 who has been trading for less than a year, or is looking to start trading in the next 6 months, and has an idea that addresses the UK's future transport, energy, or natural resource challenges, or makes our urban environments cleaner and more sustainable places to work and live in.
Start-up funding of £5,000 will be awarded to one winner each month. Winners of a Smarter Future Award will then be considered for the annual £25,000 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Advantage specialises in economic development and entrepreneurship for young people. The organisation works with clients in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, applying their expertise to promote starting a business as a realistic and viable career option to young people aged 16-30.
Through their programmes they engage with 20,000 young people in Northern Ireland each year and can offer each one individual, bespoke information, advice and guidance on starting, running and growing a business.
4.The Prince's Trust
The Prince's Trust NI can help 18-30 year-olds who are unemployed or in part-time work and are interested in starting a business. You can apply to them for a low interest loan. The Trust also offers free legal advice and many other support services. Find out how the Prince's Trust can help you start your business.
5. Northern Ireland business support finder
The Northern Ireland business support finder is a searchable database that can help you find publicly-funded and not-for-profit sources of business growth assistance you may be eligible to apply for. Support may be available in a number of forms, including financial assistance and free or subsidised advice services. Search the NI business support finder.
6. My New Business
My New Business is a free online service that covers everything you need to plan, start and run a business. It has videos and tools, plus other learning resources – like tutorials and case studies. All of them are aimed at helping people like you get your business started.
It also includes checklists that cover everything from coming up with a strong business idea and developing it, to identifying and reaching your customers to turn that idea into a successful business. See My New Business.