SME small businesses advice and grant assistance

by Crucible Multimedia

In this information sheet we highlight some of the key resources on the Web that aim to help small businesses to do business online.

Government initiatives to help small businesses 

Technology means business, managed by the Institute of Management, also offers advice to business on implementing ICTs into their business, with accredited advisers around the country.

The Small Business Service national gateway pulls together the services offered by Business Links, chambers of commerce, Learning Skills Councils (LSCs) in England, Small Business Gateways in Scotland, Business Connect (lost link) offices in Wales, and Northern Ireland's business advice service. All of these organisations offer advice on sources of funding and introducing ICTs into your business.

uktradeinfo is a vast and current web site specifically designed for businesses and traders with information on UK imports and exports. It also holds information on exchange rates, statistical bulletins, ICN on-line, European expansion, news and lots more.

Other sources of help

Focused on the interests of small businesses, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Forum of Private Business offer advice and benefits to their members.

For SoHos, teleworkers and the owner/managers among us, the Home Business Alliance contains a wealth of useful information.

In the telecoms sphere, the Communications Management Association (CMA), Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and Telecoms Users Association (TUA) represent their specific areas.

Most business sectors have trade associations that help companies in their sector to access new technologies – visit the Trade Association Forum for a useful directory.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales Library & Information Service provides access to a collection of over 200 free four page briefings on key business topics. It has also produced a range of SME Signposts that tackle key business issues for SMEs, which include direct links to essential documents, legislation, and the best guides on the subject. The selection of Signposts includes: Data Protection, Health & Safety, Limited Liability Partnerships and Stakeholder Pensions.

Sites for small businesses

There are a large number of portals, gateways and communities targeting the small business – we are currently evaluating these and will add links to the best in our ICT Directory.

Training and information technology

A new technology solution can be costly to implement. While it can deliver benefits to your business, the level of return is partly dependent upon how effectively you and your staff use it. Proper training will ensure that the technology is used to its full potential in your company.

There are many organisations competing for a slice of your company's training budget. The advent of new technology has not only created the need for additional types of employee training, it has also radically altered the way training can be delivered. Training materials can now be delivered over the Internet directly to your business any time, anywhere. Learning and Skills Councils (LSC) can advise further on training. Training Pages is a directory of training courses and products, focusing on business management and IT training.

The University for Industry aims to meet the need for lifelong learning in England and Wales delivering its courses through LearnDirect.

Do get in touch if you have come across other useful sources of help.

Reviewed January 2011

last updated : 21/01/2011

See also our UK ICT Directory for supplier lists and links

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