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Start your business

We work closely with partner organisations to support people looking to set up a new business in West Lancashire. Below are a number of partner services offering free support and guidance:

Support for social entrepreneurs

Want to change something in society for the better and think business could be the way to do it?  Then you may want to consider social enterprise.  Shared Future CIC is running their 'Lattice Works' social enterprise support service in West Lancashire with one-to-one support 'surgeries' taking place each month at various locations. Aimed at those new to the social enterprise concept, or those just starting out, meetings are focused on what you most need to discuss, to help you move forward effectively. This service is funded by UnLtd, the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK.

For further information visit Shared Futures CIC (external link)

Starting up and scaling up social enterprises

Budding social entrepreneurs can apply for a place on the Lloyds Banking Group Social Entrepreneurs Programme, available at the School for Social Entrepreneurs North West, part of the award-winning Blackburne House Group.

The programme is designed to empower individuals who have an idea for an enterprise which addresses social issues and disadvantages in their communities, providing skills and finance to bring an idea to life.

Successful applicants will receive comprehensive learning at the school and a financial contribution between £4,000 to £25,000 to fund their organisation. Students will also have a senior mentor from Lloyds Banking Group during their time on the course.

For further information about the programme visit Lloyds Banking Group (external link) or contact Angela Stanley on 0151 708 3914 or email angelastanley@blackburnehouse.co.uk

Growth Support Programme

Tailored to start-up and young high growth businesses, the Growth Support Programme provides credible, expert support ranging from one-to-one coaching to seminars and master classes. Master classes focus on a specific subject such as digital marketing, selling, or finance. A 2-day seminar called Lean Launchpad equips businesses with the tools, knowledge and techniques to launch a successful enterprise and to accelerate their growth. Both the master classes and the Lean Launchpad seminars are held all over Lancashire, and are free to the business.

Who can apply:

  • Start-up and young small and medium sized companies up to 3-4 years old that operate on a business-to-business basis

  • There are some sector restrictions

  • Located in, or moving into Lancashire

  • Able to show growth potential that will lead to job creation

Start-Up Loans UK

Start-Up Loans UK is a government-run initiative offering loans to young entrepreneurs. This scheme is aimed at anyone aged 18 or over looking for finance to start a business.  There are a number of organisations delivering this scheme across the UK, and two local deliverers are listed below. For further details contact the Council's Economic Regeneration team on 01695 712692 or email lets.talk@westlancs.gov.uk


GOV.UK is the best place to find government services and information. This website replaces Business Link and Directgov. It can help with general business and market intelligence, business premises and rates, employment law, UK and European legislation and initiatives, tax, self assessment, payroll and vat, information to help start a new business, sources of grants and loans and much more. For further information visit Gov.uk (external link)