Business and investment Starting a business

If you're thinking of starting up or running a new business you could be eligible to join our support programme, Build A Business in GM Libraries, running across 8 Greater Manchester authorities. From Artisan Baker to Zumba Instructor, Build A Business can help! Find out more at:

Build a Business in GM Libraries is part funded by the European Union, with a grant of £1.3 million from ERDF funding, and managed by Manchester City Council. The project will run from January 2021-June 2023.

Information about starting up a business 

  • Manchester Central Library's Ask about business and Business and Intellectual Property Centre help you develop your business ideas and plans. Access to professional market research, business directories, intellectual property advice and a range of workshops and networking events. Email to receive the monthly News and Events updates.
  • GOV.UK - provides online guides and tutorials, contracts finder, finance and business support finder, practical steps to setting up a business - registering, licensing, banking, VAT, National Insurance (NI) and employing people. Call 0845 600 9006. 
  • HMRC online guides and tutorials including how to determine if you are employed or self-employed for tax purposes.
  • Purposely - a free tool to help founders build 'purpose beyond profit' into their business.
  • Greater Manchester Social Enterprise Network provides a directory of social enterprises and online resources.

Advice and support

  • Central Library's Business and IP Centre hosts drop in sessions with business advisors, holds patent and IP clinics and offers workshops and networking events.
  • The Council hosts a live chat business advice service for people that want to start a business and for existing businesses.
  • The Business Growth Hub is the Greater Manchester service that supports setting up new businesses and grow existing businesses. 
    Call 0161 359 3050 or email
  • PeoplePlus delivers start up and business support including the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme for people on work-related benefits. 
    Call 0161 5076366 or email  
  • Market tradingcan be a career in its own right but many market traders used it as a first step to running successful businesses online or in their own premises.
  • The Prince's Trust helps people aged 18 to 30 start their own business. Call 0800 842 842.
  • Digital Business Academy from Tech Nation offers free online training for entrepreneurs that want to start, grow or join a digital business.
  • UnLtd offers advice and grants for social entrepreneurs and enterprises. Call 0845 850 1122.
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