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.

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.


Established in 1982, Nwes is the UK's largest not-for-profit enterprise agency. They work in partnership to provide total business support, boost self-employment and encourage entrepreneurial skills throughout the East of England.

Nwes offers one-to-one business advice, a range of business and personal skills training courses, access to finance (including start-up loans) and serviced business premises, for those wishing to start or grow a business.

Start-up Loans: Nwes are a provider of the government start up loan programme. This programme is for personal finance to start or grow a business, if you have been trading for up to 2 years.  Borrowing can be from £1000 - £25,000 at a rate of only 6% with a loan term of between 1 and 5 years.

They offer tailored support to clients to determine viability of the proposition, develop their business plan and financial forecasts in preparation for a loan application. Obviously there are credit and identification checks which must be performed but the key benefit of the programme is that having been refused finance from the high street due, for example to a £100 CCJ 3 years ago, they would look to support this application, in this example. 

Working with an advisor, you are given one to one support and the use of planning tools to aid the collation of the plans that are needed to determine viability and growth. 

Start & Grow, the latest government initiative, is offering tailored support to start up businesses, and follows on from the highly successful ’Ready for Business’ initiative, run in partnership with Barclays Bank, which ended in March 2015.

Nwes offers this premier support package, tailored to the individual needs, to guide businesses along their path of growth.

Start & Grow, funded by Round 6 of the Regional Growth Fund, and delivered by Nwes across London and East of England, is designed specifically to provide support to individuals looking to start and grow sustainable businesses that expect to employ people from the early stages, and where start-up financing will be required to get the business venture off the ground.
There are certain eligibility criteria which need to be met, including among others, age and location. There are 16 specific Local Authority areas in East of England (including Tendring) and 11 in London that are covered by the programme.

The comprehensive Start & Grow offering includes 1:1 support and advice; workshops and training; mentoring and coaching; and help to source the most appropriate funding available.
The support will continue over three years, and is designed to guide and advise businesses through their growth period. The complete package which has an estimated commercial value in excess of £5,000 is offered to eligible businesses at £100 + VAT.

By joining the Start & Grow scheme you could become one of the businesses in our ‘Hall of Fame’ and join the ranks of new business start-ups from the successful Ready for Business programme.

To learn more about the services Nwes can offer, please telephone 0845 609 9991, email: or visit their website,

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. To start the tutorial, just click 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 leads on a variety of activity that contributes to the right conditions to allow Essex businesses to grow, prosper and sustain themselves.

From the management of four Enterprise Centres and the Essex Technology and Innovation Centre to the facilitation of the Greater Essex Prosperity Forum to enable Essex businesses to be heard by county, regional and national government, Invest Essex is playing its part in supporting the County's businesses now and into the future.

For further information visit the Invest Essex website

Last updated on: 16/04/2018 - 14:31