Choosing to set up a new business is not easy even when everything is going well, and in difficult times, it can seem impossible. But, despite the challenges of recent years – especially due to the occurrence of Brexit in 2019, followed by the economic devastation caused by Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020 – it’s been a few rough years for aspiring entrepreneurs in Hampshire.
It may be difficult to comprehend, but the numbers speak for themselves. In 2019, more than 15,000 new businesses were registered in the UK, which was a 6.5% increase from 2018; and in 2020, entrepreneurs set a new record by registering 15,534 new businesses, which was a 2.4% increase from the previous year. A closer look at these numbers reveals that Southampton had the highest number of new companies formed with 2,180, second place went to Portsmouth with 1,845 and East Hampshire followed closely with 1,814. This shows the resilience and strength of the county’s economy. With an estimated output of about £50 billion,
Hampshire is the largest sub-regional economy in the South East thereby contributing immensely to the country’s economy.
If you’re considering opening a new business in Hampshire, there are plenty of valuable resources at your disposal. Apart from many business networking groups, you’ll also find a lot of mentoring and support services in the region. Here are some resources that may be of help:
Hampshire Chamber of Commerce
The Hampshire Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit NGO that’s made up of over 2,000 local businesses. It’s led and owned by members, and is a great resource for new businesses and established enterprises as well. Member benefits include help with tax, legal and HR issues. Members also get discounts and offers on select services, as well as free access to training forums. Also, and probably the most crucial benefit, you’ll get access to new business networking opportunities which will assist you to grow your business.
Enterprise Business South
Enterprise Business South is committed to strengthening and growing the Hampshire economy. It brings together like-minded individuals and entities, such as public bodies, educators and business leaders, to lobby, mentor and connect for positive change. This group offers excellent support for businesses at all stages, but is really beneficial for new businesses. From the free start-up course, ‘Create’, to assistance in raising capital, business mentoring and coaching, there really is a lot of information for people who are looking to start a new business. You also get free access to resources via their website, like the ‘Business Survival Guide’ and templates for crucial documents like cash flow spreadsheets, press releases and business plans.
Government Start-Up Loan
Starting a new business requires financial investment and planning. The Government start-up loan provides funds of between £500 and £25,000 to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses. It’s an unsecured personal loan and you can get it if you meet the criteria below:
- Be over 18 years old
- Have a permanent residence in the UK
- Plan to start a UK based business or have a UK based business that’s been in operation for at least 24 months.
On top of the money, successful applicants benefit from 12 months of business mentoring and help with writing their business plans.
Starting a new business or expanding an existing enterprise can be challenging. However, at Planet World City, we’re always here to make the digital aspect of the process easier. Call our full-service digital agency, specialising in ecommerce website development in Hampshire, to get more information on how we can assist you to showcase your brand and products online. We can manage all your online and social media presence so as to improve your digital visibility. Contact us today by calling 01252 852145 or sending an email to [email protected]