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Finance and funding
Setting up a bank account
The websites of all the major high street banks have information covering setting up a bank account and details of free banking services for new businesses. Some offer online account opening. A number of websites enable you to compare business bank accounts so that you can see any extra features like access to accounts packages and business guides. You'll need to consider whether you want to do internet banking, whether:
- you'll need to open a savings as well as a current account so that you can manage your money
- you need a business loan or overdraft facility
- whether you want debit and credit cards
- if you're setting up business with others, you'll need to decide who can authorise financial transactions
It's important to be clear about what is offered as a free banking service and what you have to pay for. For example, overdraft facilities are unlikely to be included in your free banking package - bytestart Business Banking Guide has useful tips or you can look individually at:
What if you're currently unemployed?
New Enterprise Allowance (NEA)
The New Enterprise allowance is available to people who've been claiming Jobseekers Allowance for 26 weeks or more. It includes access to a business mentor and, if you can demonstrate business viability you will access to support that incluses a weekly allowance worth £1,274 over 26 weeks, and the possibility of a loan of up to £1,000 to help with start up costs. Contact your local Jobcentre Plus.
Age 50+ - free support
Free help is available to start your own business from the Prince's Initiative for Mature Enterprise (Prime). Support includes initial advice, mentoring from successful entrepreneurs, training courses and networking events. Go to prime.org.uk or phone 0845 862 2023.
Loans and other funding opportunities
For help and advice about funding opportunities, try the following:
- StartUp Loans is a new (from May 2012) government backed project lending up to £2,500 to young people between 18 and 24 who want to start a business. Register online to receive updates on the scheme and find out how to win an hour's mentoring. Make sure you know how to write a business plan.
- Boost Capital is designed to provide fast, flexible financing to SME (small and medium size enterprises) owners who need funds quickly.
- Coast to Capital - Local Enterprise Partnership - keep an eye on what've going on locally to support new businesses
- Mid Sussex - advice from the District Council.
- Fredericks Foundation is a charity that helps disadvantaged people to set up or expand their own business. They provide business support and microloan funding for people who can't access finance through the usual channels. For start-up businesses they offer up to £10,000.
- UnLtd's Millennium Awards provide practical and financial support (£500 to £15,000) to social entrepreneurs.
- Borrow up to £30,000 via Capitalise Business Support which covers Sussex, Kent and Surrey and is a subsidiary of Ten Sixty Six Enterprise Limited, the local enterprise agency for Hasting and Rother areas in East Sussex.
- Flying Start's 'make it happen' is a support system for students and gradudates wishing to set up their own business.
- If you have social objectives you might be eligible for lottery funding.
Looking after your money
Bytestart's guides include: