Starting and growing your business

Support and advice

If you are starting or growing your business in Poole, you have access to a wide range of business support services. These include:

  • Dorset Gateway:  the new central repository of advice and support from Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership for all sizes of businesses in Dorset, providing them with a business support service and signposting to the most appropriate local or national commercial or public funded assistance available to help them grow
  • Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI): represents businesses of all sizes and sectors across Dorset with training, networking events, advice for exporters, and more
  • Dorset Business Mentoring (Dormen) recruits experienced business and professional people as volunteers to help small developing businesses, by providing a mentoring service to them. It can help you work through the best business decisions, formulate and test business plans and solve problems
  • Dorset Engineering and Manufacturing Cluster (Dorset EMC): partnership of manufacturing companies, academic institutions, local and central government and business support organisations helping to grow the engineering and manufacturing sector in Dorset with a diary of events, workshops, training, and support
  • Dorset Growth Hub: a one-stop shop for businesses or individuals in Dorset looking for support to help start or grow their business including workshops, training, events, and a number of different grants
  • Federation of Small Businesses: provides support for the small business and self-employed sector
  • Outset in Bournemouth, Poole, and Christchurch: support from set up to early trading and early trading support
  • the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (Dorset LEP) is a business led private and public sector partnership that aims to create more jobs and promote local economic growth, acting as a strategic gateway to funding

For a full overview of all of the business support on offer, have a look at our book.

Growing your business overseas

The Department for International Trade (DIT) provides expert trade advice and practical support to UK-based companies who want to grow their business overseas. Businesses can receive enquiries from potential overseas customers from day one. DIT supports many thousands of companies each year, and has locally-based trade advisers, helping companies to take their first order and start building an international business.

Visit Business West to contact the South West specialists.

Dorset Chamber of Commerce can offer advice in:

  • export readiness
  • export finance
  • getting goods to market
  • international market access
  • overseas marketing​
Page last updated: 17 May 2021
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