Skip to main content
Guiding you to a better future


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.

Free therapy sessions offered to SME owners as stress rises

12 October 2021

A new study has found that less than one in three small business owners experiencing poor mental health have sought professional help.

Only 30% of small business owners experiencing symptoms of poor mental health have sought professional help from a counsellor or therapist, according to new research by iwoca. The publishing of its report coincided with World Mental Health Day, which takes place on 10 October every year.

The survey of over 1,000 small business owners has found that a lack of information about support is the biggest problem, with one in four owners not knowing that specific help for small businesses exists. However, one in five business owners also admitted they did not feel comfortable talking about their own mental health.

The findings show that over a quarter (27%) of small business owners report that owning a business negatively impacts their mental health, 36% experience anxiety and one in five show symptoms of depression several times a month. Overall, 61% experience at least one symptom of poor mental health several times a month, up from 57% when iwoca last surveyed SME owners in January 2021.

Despite the easing of the pandemic, the survey also found that 72% small business owners are still worried about cashflow and 55% are concerned about having to temporarily close their business due to COVID. This compares to 51% and 63% respectively in January 2021.

To help support SMEs, iwoca is launching free therapy sessions for small business owners in the UK in partnership with therapy platform Spill, starting with 500 free sessions as part of a phased roll-out until the end of 2021. Business owners will be able to talk to trained mental health professionals via video and they can sign up for their free video therapy session online.

Seema Desai, chief operations officer at iwoca, said: "Our research lifts the curtain on the impact that running a business can have on the mental health of SME owners; and the pressures that many of them face have worsened throughout the pandemic.

"So we must do everything we can to ensure our coffee shops, hairdressers and electricians can access the right support - tailored to them - to help them cope with the challenges that running a business can foster."

Will Allen-Mersh, partner at Spill, said: "Looking after our mental wellbeing should always come first … we think it's important that everyone has access to therapy; and small business owners certainly shouldn't be an exception."

Rebecca Lockwood (pictured), owner of a female entrepreneur training consultancy in Yorkshire, said: "As a business owner I find myself having to really keep my mind on track. Before I trained in neuro-linguistic programming I didn't understand how to do this and would find myself comparing a lot to other people and other business owners … There's a misconception that you have to be working all the time in order to be a success. There's so much more pressure on you to make sure you get it right and we can create this perception in our minds that causes negative looping. What most people do not think about is how productive rest actually is for our mindset and mental health."

Written by Rachel Miller.

Stay up-to-date with business advice and news

Sign up to this lively and colourful newsletter for new and more established small businesses.

Contact us

Make an enquiry