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Enterprise Nation - Give it a Try!

More and more people are choosing to start up their own businesses, and even in a recession many people find this option still suits them best. Women returners to the labour market, people who have been made redundant and want to change direction, older people who are finding it difficult to get back into work, and people who are out of work and tired of being worn down by jobseeking, may want to explore self employment as an option. 

Many providers of mainstream welfare to work programmes often don’t encourage this aspect of “jobsearch”, but if you have clients with an idea and some determination, why not help them explore this.

A good place to get them to start their research and develop their idea is Enterprisenation.com (as seen on BBC Breakfast this morning!)  This is a free resource that helps people start and grow their business at home. It covers all the basics about finding the right idea, planning, marketing, admin, business models and law. It also gives lots of information about using technology within your business, how to balance work life commitments and tons of practical information. The forums allow users to share ideas and experiences with other home businesses and is an excellent source of practical support.

The site also has a host of useful links. We’ve picked out a few that could keep people busy for hours researching everything they need to start a business.


  • Bytestart.co.uk - wealth of information and guidance for small businesses through a site owned and edited by small business people.
  • Business Startup Community - a site that offers free membership for people to build their own network with other entrepreneurs, find organisations offering impartial information on starting and managing your own business, provides opinions from experts on issues such as recruitment, business planning or taxation planning.
  • smallbusiness.co.uk - provides useful resources, products and services for small business owners and start-ups, including news articles, guides, tips and a Q&A Forum to ask questions to the panel of experts, leave comments and discuss the listed topics.
  • VentureNavigator  - a government funded service to help start-ups and small businesses improve their chances of success. The most interesting service is an assessment offering personalised feedback on general viability of a business, fitness for a particular business sector (e.g. manufacturing) and guidance on important factors such as Intellectual property (IP) and investment readiness. Following the assessment VentureNavigator recommends carefully chosen resources, including articles and media clips that provide guidance on topics specific to your business.
So make sure you don’t dismiss out of hand the client who wants to start his own window cleaning business, dog walking and pet babysitting service, or sandwich delivery service!  Our nation was built on enterprise (apparently) – so let's encourage it and see where it takes us all!


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