Support for start-ups

How do I start a business in Sandwell, or find opportunities for my start-up business?

For practical and free business support in Sandwell, the Business Growth Team at Think Sandwell is here for you.

Support for start-ups banner

Contact Sandwell Council’s Business Growth Team

Get advice on setting up a business in Sandwell
Our team provides one-to-one business advice and help with all aspects of starting a new business, from planning and market research to marketing and more. We also advise on the types of financial support available for start-up businesses and how best to access it.

We can help you gain the confidence and skills you need to start your entrepreneurial journey and later on when your business is thriving we’ll be here to help you grow. Our service is free because we want businesses in Sandwell to thrive in order to create and sustain jobs and keep our local economy healthy.

Are you ready? To take your first step email us using our contact form. We’re happy to help.

Get support to become a Sandwell social entrepreneur
We have a dedicated page of support for social enterprises in Sandwell, explaining the difference between a social enterprise and other types of businesses. The page will signpost you to useful social enterprise resources and information.

Find a suitable business property in Sandwell
If you’re looking for affordable workspace or offices for your business in and around Sandwell, see how we can help.

Get support for start-up businesses in the Black Country and West Midlands

Black Country Chamber of Commerce
The Black Country Chamber of Commerce has a Start-Up Business Club, a place to make new connections, learn from experienced professionals and develop the skills and understanding needed to take your new business venture to the next level. Joining the business club is usually £25 a month, but there are a number of upcoming events which are free to non-members.

Attend this event for start-up businesses and would-be entrepreneurs

Start Up Sales Masterclass
Black Country Chamber of Commerce
Wednesday 24 November

Check out these national business resources

COBRA
COBRA stands for Complete Business Reference Adviser. This is a reference resource for business advisers and information professionals who support micro-business owners, small firms and new business start-ups. COBRA provides critical business facts, compliance and trading details covering hundreds of the most common (and many of the less common) small business trades, sectors and professions.

You can access COBRA for free via Sandwell Libraries. Please note that you will need to be a member of Sandwell Libraries and enter your membership number. This is free and you can sign up easily.

Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation is a community of small businesses and business advisers offering trusted business support. It’s well worth signing up to the newsletter for news of business events and valuable opportunities.

Launched in June 2020, the Amazon Small Business Accelerator by Enterprise Nation is a free, online educational programme for anyone who wants to start a new online business or grow an existing one.

SPEED
Formerly Enterprise Action, the SPEED project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. SPEED seeks to enable individuals to access support in starting a business or enterprise in the Black Country and Marches regions, offering match-funding opportunities, development workshops and business consultancy. Learn more at www.speedstartup.org.

Keep an eye out for financial support

BCRS Small Business Loans West Midlands
Loans from £25k to £150k are being offered to young companies in the region, through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. The £17m fund is being managed by Wolverhampton company BCRS Small Business Loans West Midlands. The loans are financially backed by the European Regional Development Fund and designed to help businesses that are unable to access finance from traditional lenders, such as banks. To be eligible, businesses must be based in the West Midlands, have been registered for less than a year and already be producing revenue, or have contracts in place to show that revenue is imminent. Learn more

Start Up Loans
Start Up Loans is a government-funded scheme to provide advice, loans and mentoring to new businesses. Register your interest online and work with a business adviser to get your application ready before you apply for finance.

Virgin Start Up Loans
Virgin Start Up Loans is a not-for-profit organisation that helps entrepreneurs in England get funding, resources and advice. Its main focus is to help people to get the support they need to turn a great idea in to a successful and sustainable business. If you are over 18 and a British citizen or legal UK resident who wants to start or expand a new business that’s less than a year old in England then you may be eligible for a start-up loan. Find out more about the scheme.

Consider signing up with a mentor

Mentorsme
Mentorsme is a free site giving you access to a list of business mentoring organisations across Britain. It has an easy-to-use search engine which allows you to refine your search according to the life stage of your business and your location.

Page last updated in August 2021.

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