Start a part-time business

Help and support for part-time businesses


A wide range of help is available to you if you're starting a business - through government agencies or business mentoring. You can get help from a variety of sources online, while other forms of support can be obtained from events such as networking meetings.

Support includes:

  • The Northern Ireland business support finder is a searchable database that can help you find publicly-funded and not-for-profit sources of 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 for business support and finance.
  • Invest NI's regional office network offers training and advisory services to those starting up in business - contact Invest NI.
  • There are 11 local councils in Northern Ireland, all of which can provide local information for businesses and provide a business adviser to help you start-up - see contact your local council for start a business support.
  • Enterprise NI is a network of local enterprise agencies that offers key assistance to your business, whether you are already established or just starting up - find your local enterprise agency.
  • Mentoring can help you develop business skills. Building a relationship with a mentor can have a positive effect on your business, whether you are just starting up or are already established. A mentor can help you develop important business skills, support you in making important decisions and put you in touch with useful business contacts - see the benefits of business mentoring.
  • Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce offers support and advice and may organise networking meetings for businesses of a similar size and in similar business sectors.
  • You might find it helpful to join the trade association for your business sector, where you will be able to interact with peer businesses for advice and information.

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. See My New Business.