Start-up and growth
For local advice you can get in touch with our Business Liaison Louise Slater, or the other North West-based support agencies.
Weekly Business Advice Drop-in Sessions
If you are starting up a business or in the early stages of running a business and you want to find out what support is available to you, drop in and meet an advisor from Blue Orchid.
- Wednesday, 9.30am - 12.00pm
- Upstairs at Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre, Greaves Street, OL1 1AL
Contact the library for more details:
- Phone: 0161 770 8000
- Fax: 0161 626 8675
Business Growth Hub
A community for businesses in Greater Manchester which focuses on supporting and developing growth companies.
Get help with:
- Accessing finance
- Expanding your markets
- Developing new products and services
- Building your new business network
- Developing leadership skills
- Explore marketing opportunities
- Improving productivity
- Product development
- Phone: 0161 359 3050
- Business Growth website
Oldham Enterprise Fund
The Oldham Enterprise Fund supports new and existing businesses in Oldham and businesses run by Oldham residents living out of the borough.
The fund is a partnership between Oldham Business Leadership Group, the Business Growth Hub, and Blue Orchid.
- It is a programme of competitively priced loans and small grants.
- It is a competitive fund to support sustainable business and business growth ideas.
- It is open to anyone over 16 years of age.
Applicants are given a programme of free business support to help them prepare their application to the assessment panel.
Further support is available whether the application is successful or not.
Links are made to other national, regional, sectoral, and Greater Manchester-wide funds as well.
Contact Graham McKendrick OBLG Co-ordinator:
Local Enterprise Agency - Blue Orchid
Free support funded by the European Regional Development Fund and provided by Blue Orchid.
Includes an extensive programme of workshops on business planning, marketing and sales, and book keeping.
Access one-to-one business advice and support from professional business advisors.
Special consultancy for new businesses on how to improve business performance and overcome the challenges of building a sustainable business is also on offer.
- Phone: 0161 341 0245
- Blue Orchid
FranchisingWorks is an innovative social enterprise that tackles unemployment by helping create new businesses and jobs through franchising.
It provides independent advice and practical support to people interested in exploring franchising as a way into self-employment.
FranchisingWorks is working closely with local employment support agencies such as Blue Orchid and Jobcentre Plus, as well as the UK franchise community, to help start up new franchise businesses across greater Manchester.
Tender for Council business
For information on the tendering process, advertising contracts and supplier selection contact the Procurement Team.
For more general advice about starting a business, try any of the following organisations.
Everything you need to know about starting up in one place.
Gov.uk has information about starting up and running businesses in the UK.
- Businesses and self-employed - Gov.uk website
DWP Enterprise Allowance
Supports local residents into self employment by offering people who have been on Job Seekers Allowance for 6months or more a 26 week allowance, access to a mentor and loan fund up to £1,000.
For more information contact your jobcentre plus advisor.
- DWP Enterprise allowance - DWP website
18 - 30 StartUp Loans
Are you aged 18-30 and looking to start a business and become your own boss? If so, the Start-Up Loan has been tailor made for you. Start-Up Loans have been launched for young people who want to go their own way, work on their own terms and start a successful venture.
Access support with your business plan, services and expertise to help start your business:
- Phone: 0161 359 3050
- Email: email@example.com
- 18 - 30 StartUp Loans - Business Growth Hub website
- Starting a business - HMRC website
You can call the Inland Revenue help line for newly self employed people on 0845 9154 505 (8.00am - 8.00pm).
The HM Revenue & Customs Tax Widget is a handy tool that provides advice for small businesses to help the get their tax right.
Starting in business e-learning course
E-learning course about starting a business, income tax, national insurance, business records and expenses
The Princes Trust
The Princes Trust Enterprise Programme supports unemployed young people aged 18 - 30 to work out if their business ideas are viable and whether self-employment is right for them.
Mentorsme connects companies with mentoring organisations that can support and guide their growth.
If you are a business that needs support or a business professional who can offer support, they can help you connect with each other.
The Business Growth Accelerator helps SMEs with a turnover of less than £40m to achieve growth of 20% year on year.
Experts work with business leaders to tackle issues such as: developing and delivering a tailored growth strategy, becoming investment ready and securing finance, commercialising innovation effectively, developing leadership and management capability.
Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS)
MAS provides manufacturing business support for companies based in England, helping them to improve and grow.
The service is designed to help manufacturers streamline processes, reduce waste, become more energy efficient and generally improve and grow their business.
- Phone: 0845 658 9600
- MAS website