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For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

British Business Bank supports more small firms

18 July 2017

British Business Bank supports more small firmsThe UK's national economic development bank has increased its support for small businesses and has invested in more than 59,000 SMEs in the past year.

Annual reports for 2016-17 reveal that the British Business Bank has increased its supply of finance to smaller businesses - with the total stock of finance provided through Bank programmes rising by 24% to £9.2bn.

More than 59,000 small and medium-sized companies have received a loan or investment through the Bank's programmes this year and an additional £717m has been committed through delivery partners to increase the supply of finance to the market.

The British Business Bank was launched in 2014; its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.

The Bank says that it has created a more diverse finance market for smaller businesses, with 94% of its support being delivered through smaller, newer or alternative finance providers.

Also this year, the British Business Bank launched the £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and joined forces with the Start Up Loans Company. In addition, it launched Help To Grow, a programme that targets smaller businesses with high growth potential.

Keith Morgan, ceo of the British Business Bank said: "It has been a year of significant expansion for the Bank and, as our market impact continues to grow, we are well placed to respond flexibly to challenges ahead, helping to increase the amount and range of finance available to smaller UK businesses."

Lord Smith of Kelvin, chair of the British Business Bank, said: "By the start of 2016/17, the British Business Bank had successfully moved from start-up phase to delivering strongly against a significantly evolving political and economic background. Over the year it has substantially scaled up its programmes and broadened its support for smaller businesses across the UK."

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