This is the first in a regular series of resources for those working in the creative industries. Over the next few weeks we'll be looking at particular areas of work but, to kick things off, we're taking a more general look at things.
Getting down to business
There are some good resources out there for small and start up businesses, and plenty of opportunities for finding support from a range of organisations, meaning you don’t have to go it alone. On a national level, try:
- The CBI, the UK's business lobbying organisation
- Chamber of Commerce is the national body for a network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce across the UK
- Business Link offers plenty of advice for all types of businesses, but they're closing in November this year so, if you want to get in touch with them, be quick
There are quite a few West Midlands-based organisations offering support as well as a range of events to meet with other people:
- The occasional Know Your Place events offer advice on gaining work and are a good way of meeting others in the same boat
- The Birmingham Entrepreneur Meetup Group is held on the last Wednesday of the month, and allows for the discussion of ideas, tips and advice between other entrepreneurs.
- BSEEN offer start up businesses and entrepreneurs an incubation space with £500 a month grant, mentoring, training and networking opportunities for those who have graduated within the last four years living in Birmingham.
- PLOT is a part of Light House, who give free support to creative businesses in Wolverhampton and the Black Country.
- Birmingham Future is Birmingham’s leading membership organisation for young professionals working in the professional and financial services sectors. They also aim to cover the creative sector a little
- Birmingham Forward is an independent, inclusive, not-for-profit membership organisation
- Coventry and Warwickshire First facilitate business development by providing information, intelligence, marketing and networking opportunities
- ICE (Institute of Creative Enterprise) offers business support and desk space for new cultural and creative businesses and organisations
For events and organisations further afield, take a look at:
- Startup Mill is a free community event for aspiring entrepreneurs to develop ideas in a supportive environment. They currently hold regular events in Manchester and Sheffield, along with others around the UK. Check their events for the next ones near you.
- UK Business Forum is a popular online community of business people
- It's worth signing up to the daily email updates from Business Desk WM and The Birmingham Post
What have we missed?
Are there are any resources out there that you've found particularly useful? If so, whether they're membership organisations, meet-ups, blogs, forums or something else entirely, let us know in the comments.