Start up and pre start support

Do you want to run your own business and need help getting started? If your considering starting a new business, going self-employed or been trading for less than one year there is plenty of support available to help.

Dudley Business First provides guidance on the available you need to start your entrepreneurial journey and later on, when your business is thriving, we’ll be here to help you grow. To take your first step call Dudley Business First on 01384 812001 or email us at, we’re happy to help. 

Great Business

Government backed website providing general information and business helpline to support you start up a new business including how to set up and register a company.

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HMRC has a variety of useful online support tools for new and pre-start businesses including e-learning products that will provide relevant guidance to those who are looking to set up a business of their own. They currently have two e-learning modules available: Starting Your Own Business and Becoming An Employer.

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Raise Program

Access to Business and SWEDA (Skills Work and Enterprise Development Agency), are proud to launch their ‘RAISE’ program – (Raising Aspirations, Inspiring Self-Employment and Social Enterprise’ project). The project delivers support to entrepreneurs in the Black Country to set up and run their businesses, specifically targeting new and early stage entrepreneurs.

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The Prince's Trust Enterprise Programme

Are you aged 18 to 30, living in the UK and have a business idea or some ideas to explore? If you’re ready to be your own boss, sign up to the Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme in person or try the new, flexible online platform, with e-mentor support, to help guide you through all the key steps that will help make your enterprise a big success.

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Funded Business Bootcamp

Are you employed and dream of starting your own business?  The Peter Jones Academy Level 2 BTEC course will help you develop your ideas and ultimately lead you to write your very own business plan. You’ll be taught all of the component parts you need for setting up your business

You’ll develop your entrepreneurial mindset as well as gaining the focus and know-how to guide you through the types of decisions that successful business people make every day. This course is completely free for all learners.

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The Complete Business Reference Advisor

COBRA is an online resource with allows you to access sector related factsheets, market reports, contacts and sources of support plus practical guides to starting up. The resource is ideal for anyone looking to start a business, writing a business or marketing plan or conducting research into a new market. 

If you are a Dudley Library member, COBRA is free to use, just use your membership number to log in. Find out more at

Virgin Start Up Loans

Virgin Start Up Loans is a not-for-profit organisation that helps entrepreneurs in England get funding, resources and advice. Its main focus is to help people to get the support they need to turn a great idea in to a successful and sustainable business.


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Start Up Loans

For those with dreams to start and run their own business, the government-backed Start Up Loan service might just be the break you’ve been looking for. Alongside the low-interest loan, successful applicants can access free mentoring from experienced advisers.


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Black Country Chamber of Commerce Start-Up Club

The Start-Up Business Club offers members two years of business support including a series of specially-designed masterclasses tailored to addressing the specific needs of start-ups. The club also offers a dedicated Account Manager, networking opportunities, mentor matching and access to tools and guides through an online Start-Up dashboard.

For more information, contact Alison Trinder on 01902 912 301 or 07980 906921, alternatively email

Entrepreneurial Spark

Entrepreneurial Spark is the world's largest free people accelerator for early stage and growing ventures. Entrepreneurial Spark Enablers you to work shoulder to shoulder with Entrepreneur Development Managers from NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank who utilise local ecosystems to help make entrepreneurs credible, backable and investable.

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