Starting a business

Starting a business

If you’re thinking of starting a business, you’ll need to come up with a realistic idea that you can turn into a product or service.

It does not have to be unique or even new – simply something you believe there is a market for. It’s important to research your market to make sure your customers will really pay for your product or service.

Of course, if you have come up with a unique new product you may be able to register your idea (link opens in new window) to make sure nobody copies it.

If you are new to running a business, there are several sources of help and advice that you can take advantage of.

Mi Ventures

Mi Ventures is an interactive, business support website that offers free business advice. They have a website business information library with downloadable factsheets and documents, including business plan templates, and a live chat facility that lets you speak with business advisors online from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Sign up to talk to a business advisor straight away (link opens in new window)

Our business products

Central Bedfordshire Council Business TimeBank™ Free business support session from local providers.

Sign up to receive the latest business news and events with Let's Talk Business.

Find out more about our Micro Enterprise Programme – Setting up a small business from 1 to 5 people.

Social enterprise?

A social enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.

Social enterprises can help to achieve sustainable, healthy communities by:

  • helping to create jobs and wealth for the community
  • giving people the power to decide how to regenerate their neighbourhood
  • showing new ways to deliver public services
  • providing services for the community not provided by anyone else
  • helping to develop an inclusive society and active citizenship

Contact: Garth McKenzie

Telephone: 0300 300 6161


Aged 18-30?

If you're aged between 18 and 30,unemployed and have a business idea, then the Prince's Trust (link opens in new window) can offer support for your start up.


Businesses that employ less than 10 people are generally referred to as micro-enterprises. If you are interested in starting a micro-enterprise, or are currently running one, the Business Toolkit (PDF 55KB) offers details of organisations who can offer further support.

If your micro-enterprise provides adult health or social care, support and advice is available from our Adult Social Care, Health and Housing Team.

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