Business Advice Services

If you are thinking about starting up a new business or even if you are already an established business, there's a host of business support and advice services available.

Tendring 4 Growth

Funded by Tendring District Council and provided by Colbea, this Business Service is available to the new and growing business community in the District. It consists of a specialist one-to-one advisory service with fully qualified advisors helping with all aspects of running a business. Advisors can also signpost you to our various development programmes, helping you to grow yourself, your staff, and your business. 

Contact Colbea today on or call 01206 548 833.


Colbea is a catalyst for business success across Essex, providing fully-funded business advice, training and office space for new and established businesses.

One to one business advice sessions are available for anyone looking for information, advice, and guidance in order to start, grow or develop a business. This may include support on a range of topics from business planning to accessing funding and grants.

If you are looking to test your business idea, set up, or are ready to grow, Colbea has a programme to help you develop. A range of entrepreneurial training is available to support you and your business:

  • First Steps to Start up Success – a short course covering the main things to consider when starting a business aimed at those who are thinking of starting up or have recently started.
  • Young Persons Entrepreneurial & Employability Course – aimed at 18-24-year-olds looking to develop themselves for their first job or start their own business.
  • Change & Grow Programme – A series of masterclass development and mentoring sessions with a dedicated advisor to support you and your business. Intended for those who have already started on their business.

With over 38 years of local experience, Colbea is passionate about helping people and their businesses.

Contact Colbea today on or call 01206 548 833

BEST Growth Hub 

The new BEST Growth Hub helps businesses realise their growth potential.

Essex businesses of all sizes, from innovative young enterprises to long-established firms, can access a new business support service from the BEST Growth Hub.

Whether starting a new business, growing an existing business or finding funding for a new venture, the BEST Growth Hub Team is there to help you. 

With an enthusiastic team of Business Navigators who are able to meet you at your premises to discuss your business needs and identify ways that they can help your business grow.  They can advise you about grants or loans, help you to expand the knowledge and expertise your business has and ensure you are kept up to date with the latest business support opportunities available in your area.

The BEST Growth Hub also provides a website which contains: free business support listings, the opportunity to search for grants and finance in your area, an up-to-date list of events for business, news and current information as well as a procurement portal that enables you to find contract opportunities.

BEST of all – BEST Growth Hub services are fully funded for businesses located within Essex – so won’t cost you a penny.

Backing Essex Business

This scheme ended on 30 June 2022, keep an eye out for future programmes.

The Backing Essex Business programme offers new and existing businesses up to 12 hours free business support. They can help you with business planning, funding, supply chain building, training and recruitment, and business evaluation.

Backing Essex Business are also one of the Essex providers for the Recovery Loan Scheme. If your business has been affected by the pandemic you could be eligible to borrow up to £150k to help your business recover. 

HM Revenue & Customs

‘Starting your own Business’ e-Learning Tool

HM Revenue & Customs provide a FREE e-learning tool that covers the tax and National Insurance issues involved in starting your own business.

The package can be completed in bite-size pieces and covers subjects including:

  • Starting in business
  • Registering your self employment
  • What records should I keep?
  • What can I claim against my income?
  • VAT registration
  • Becoming an employer

Incorporated into the package are learning checks and videos as well as links to further advice on YouTube & website. Start the tutorial here.

Government Support  

The GOV.UK website is a service designed to promote enterprise. Whether you are already running or growing a business or just starting out, the GOV.UK website is a good place to start as it provides easy-to-use, tailored information to help you start-up, improve or grow your business, features include:

  • A 'growth and improvement' service to make your business work better including: tools to help you diagnose and solve business problems, a business support finder, tutorials and video case studies, information on events in your area and links to business discussions and other services
  • If you are planning to start a business, or know someone who is, a whole new area of the Business Link website called 'My New Business' will provide tailored information and training to guide people through the process
  • If you are a business that needs support or a business professional who can offer support, the MentorsMe scheme can help you connect with each other. MentorsMe connects companies with mentoring organisations that can support and guide their growth

For further information on starting up or developing your business visit the GOV.UK website.

Invest ESSEX

Invest ESSEX is an investment promotion agency (IPA) and business support provider, promoting the opportunity of Essex as a prime UK business location to international and UK companies. Invest ESSEX guides and supports businesses through every stage of business relocation, expansion or scale-up.

Invest ESSEX also provides a full impartial assessment of finance needs by their SME funding specialists helping review all options to find tailor-made solutions for businesses. Invest ESSEX offers business funding to support businesses in Essex, with access to specialist advice and up to 12 hours of fully funded consultancy. The dedicated ‘aftercare’ service also continues to support growing businesses.

Invest ESSEX is delivered by the Let’s Do Business Group and is jointly funded by Essex County Council (ECC) and the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

See more information by clicking here to visit the Invest ESSEX Website.

Last updated on: 11/07/2022 - 09:09