Useful links for general business support and advice

There are a number of national and local organisations and networks providing business advice and support to new and existing businesses in South Oxfordshire.

Government and local authority support – provides advice on starting a business, tax, payroll, H&S, IT, e-commerce and sales and marketing.

The Start Up Loans Company – Government backed loan scheme which has provided more than £300 million in loans to new businesses since 2012.  Also gives free pre-loan support with business plans and cash flow forecasts, and a range of useful templates and start up guides.

Free Start Up Guides – As part of the above scheme, five guides to download. All are full of tips, helpful examples and ‘how-to’ information to boost your business knowledge.

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) –  helps ensure business success in an increasingly competitive world. They are the voice for business across Government.

Department for International Trade (DIT) – offers both new and experienced exporters tailored, impartial and expert advice on winning business overseas.

Business is GREAT – support, advice and inspiration for growing your business.

Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) – supports high-level economic projects across Oxfordshire.

Oxfordshire Business Support (OBS) – connecting businesses with expert support to help start or expand businesses.

Oxfordshire Business Enterprises –  free advice service for people seeking help starting a business.

Enterprise Europe Network –  helps businesses sell and source technologies in international markets, access European R&D funding and find partners for R&D projects.

South Oxfordshire District Council grants – voluntary, non-profit, partnership and other grants and funds.

Business organisations and groups

Federation of Small Business (FSB)-  the largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms.

The Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce – a membership organisation which promotes and lobbies for business development in the Thames Valley.  Holding more than 240 events every year, ranging from networking events to formal dinners, offering a wide range of cost-saving, support and business development services.

OIBC (Oxfordshire International Business Club) – a place to meet people and organisations who can help you expand, learn from those who’ve already done it and share their knowledge and experience. Find out about new markets ripe for expansion.

The Oxfordshire Project –  provides a positive, supportive and inspiring platform for business owners, charities and social change organisations to grow, learn and collaborate.   They host over 150+ friendly and informal networking events each year within Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire and offer an extensive range of services to help develop your business.

Institute of Directors –  members receive a variety of benefits including information, advice, training, conferences and publications to help them maximise their potential.

Institute of Economic Development – established over 30 years ago, the UK’s leading independent professional body representing economic development and regeneration practitioners working for local and regional communities.

Specialist and local business support

Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA) – supporting voluntary and community sector groups and organisations based in Oxfordshire and offer all kinds of advice, including sources of funding and getting fit to fund.

Oxfordshire Community First – motto is ‘Helping communities help themselves’. Offers support to improve the quality of life for those who live or work in rural Oxfordshire.

ROBIN Network – group of like-minded people from businesses and public sector bodies in Oxfordshire, who collaborate and support charities and community groups by sharing skills and resources creatively.

Jennings Business Mentors –   free business mentoring for small established businesses (more than 1 year in business) in Oxfordshire.

Co-operative Futures –  a dynamic co-operative policy and development agency supporting the development of social enterprises in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Swindon and Wiltshire.

Princes Trust – offers support to 14-30 year olds to gain skills or start their own business

Shell Live Wire –  since 1982 Shell Livewire has been helping 16 – 30 year olds start and develop their own business, providing information and support.

Ethnic Minority Business Service – supports members of ethnic minority communities to start new businesses.

Big Issue Invest helps scale up social enterprises and charities throughout the UK by providing loans and investments. You can get between £50,000 – £1,500,000 if you have been operating for at least 24 months.

Business Cash Advance Alternative financing for UK small business owners.

Business Companion – Free, impartial legal guidance for businesses that sell goods and/or supply services to consumers.

Angel CoFund – The Angel CoFund is a £100m investment fund with objectives to back promising UK businesses and help develop the important business angel investment market.

Big Issue Invest helps scale up social enterprises and charities throughout the UK by providing loans and investments. You can get between £50,000 – £1,500,000 if you have been operating for at least 24 months

Co-Operative and Community Finance – Exclusively for the co-operative and social enterprise sector, all funds are owned and democratically controlled by members. Loans from £10,000 to £75,000 are available.

Resources and guides

Finding a Business Mentor – page looking at business mentoring, highlighting the benefits.

A Guide to Serviced Offices – link to blog post highlighting benefits of using a serviced office.

The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and startup template to help develop new or documenting existing business models. It is a visual chart with elements describing a firm’s, or even a product’s costs, value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and revenue amongst others. The form can be downloaded at and other websites. – resource for finding solicitors in Oxfordshire for legal support and advice on all business matters.

Useful links for sustainability issues

Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) –  helps individuals, businesses and local authorities to reduce waste and recycle more, making better use of resources and helping to tackle climate change.

Carbon Trust –  aims to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy by working with organisations to reduce carbon emissions and develop commercial low carbon technologies.

National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP) – an innovative business opportunity programme that delivers bottom line benefits for our members whilst generating positive outcomes for the environment and society.