Supporting your journey to self-employment

Find information about the skills and training you might need to become self-employed.

Please note: Due to COVID-19 (Corona Virus) there will be disruption and delays to face-to-face workshops and events, please keep an eye out on our social media channels and this website for virtual workshops and events. Some recruitment activity may be delayed.

 

Heart of the South West / National Devon Plymouth Somerset Torbay

Heart of the South West / National

The Heart of the South West Growth Hub provides independent diagnosis and referrals to existing business support services. We are the first point of contact for businesses in the Heart of the South West LEP area wishing to develop and grow. Our service works in partnership with existing local and national business support services and will help businesses access the right support for them without duplicating existing provision.

Heart of the South West Growth Hub

“Bringing ideas, imagination, information and knowledge to people’s lives and communities.”

Devon libraries are collaborative and innovative spaces, that as well as allowing you to borrow a book, can help you:

  • access a computer
  • with workshops on CV writing and interview skills
  • access digital innovation through their FabLab 

During COVID 19 they can help you access ebooks, eAudio books and Online events.

Libraries Unlimited

The National Retraining Scheme will help prepare adults for future changes to the economy, including those brought about by automation, and help them retrain into better jobs.

The first part of the service, Get help to retrain, is available in the Heart of the South West. You can use Get help to retrain to understand your current skills, identify potential new job roles and find and sign up to local training opportunities.

This service is designed to help if:

  • you’re employed
  • you don’t have a qualification at degree level
  • you’re aged 24 or over
  • you’re earning below £35,000 a year
  • you live in the Heart of the South West area
Get Help to Retrain sign up
Find out more about Get Help to Retrain

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a programme developed to upskill employees within small and medium-sized businesses in the Heart of the South West LEP area; Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay. They provide recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance your employees’ skills, increase the competitiveness of your business and boost the local economy. SSW is co-financed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the European Social Fund. Skills Support for the Workforce is all about progress. They can help you progress your career, education and business.

Serco Skills Support

They can:

TS Connect - Trading Standards

Below is a link to the government website, which informs you information on running your own business, how to register as self-employed, informs you of alternative ways of working for yourself and offers help with setting up your own business.

Working for yourself

“This site offers a range of advice to help your business overcome challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you are needing to expand rapidly or worried about redundancies, you can find advice on next steps and the best ways to support your staff.”

Employer Help

Devon

They can:

Provide free qualified business support. Discuss options and available support for anyone considering self-employment.

Business Information Point

A growing community of friendly and flexible work spaces, perfect for home-based and mobile workers, business start-ups, freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Devon Work Hubs

Keep an eye out for online workshops run by Exeter Library.

Exeter Library

Helping you Connect, Grow and Succeed.

As an accredited member of the British Chambers of Commerce network and a membership organisation with over 200 years’ experience in the Plymouth & Devon economy, the Chamber is an integral part of the regional community and fulfils an important role in connecting you to national business issues and Westminster.

We strive to be a strong, influential voice for all businesses, whether you’re a start-up or sole trader, educational organisation or a large manufacturer.

We’re committed to providing you with relevant and dynamic support and solutions, designed to help you meet the business challenges of the modern world.”

Events

Our events programme features over 100 occasions a year when you can make contacts and build new relationships, raise your company’s profile with like-minded business people and be kept up-to-date on important topics and regional developments. We also have fun doing it!

Member Benefits

Chamber members can call on us for expert information, business signposting and support, access to ChamberLegal, exclusive member-to-member offers,  discounts, access to selected events and much more.”

Devon and Plymouth Chamber

“Virtual Events

Devon & Plymouth Chamber has created a programme of Virtual Events during the COVID-19 pandemic, so we can continue to serve our members with relevant, useful advice and guidance – including the latest updates.

Our Chamber Live events take place each week with a different panel of experts, each handpicked to interact with you over Zoom.

The panel will give you advice and updates on subjects ranging from accessing Government support to motivating your teams remotely – applicable to a broad range of sectors. Then we launch into a useful Q&A session when you’re welcome to ask questions, anonymously if you wish.”

Devon and Plymouth Chamber Events

Plymouth

Helping you Connect, Grow and Succeed.

As an accredited member of the British Chambers of Commerce network and a membership organisation with over 200 years’ experience in the Plymouth & Devon economy, the Chamber is an integral part of the regional community and fulfils an important role in connecting you to national business issues and Westminster.

We strive to be a strong, influential voice for all businesses, whether you’re a start-up or sole trader, educational organisation or a large manufacturer.

We’re committed to providing you with relevant and dynamic support and solutions, designed to help you meet the business challenges of the modern world.”

Events

Our events programme features over 100 occasions a year when you can make contacts and build new relationships, raise your company’s profile with like-minded business people and be kept up-to-date on important topics and regional developments. We also have fun doing it!

Member Benefits

Chamber members can call on us for expert information, business signposting and support, access to ChamberLegal, exclusive member-to-member offers,  discounts, access to selected events and much more.”

Devon and Plymouth Chamber

“Virtual Events

Devon & Plymouth Chamber has created a programme of Virtual Events during the COVID-19 pandemic, so we can continue to serve our members with relevant, useful advice and guidance – including the latest updates.

Our Chamber Live events take place each week with a different panel of experts, each handpicked to interact with you over Zoom.

The panel will give you advice and updates on subjects ranging from accessing Government support to motivating your teams remotely – applicable to a broad range of sectors. Then we launch into a useful Q&A session when you’re welcome to ask questions, anonymously if you wish.”

Devon and Plymouth Chamber Events

 

 

Somerset

“Somerset Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based business support organisation which promotes and lobbies for business development in Somerset.

Established in 1994, the Somerset Chamber works hard to support local businesses and specifically our 500 strong network of member businesses covering all industry sectors from sole-traders to multi-national corporations.  Combined with local Town Chambers, the Somerset Chamber represents over 2000 businesses across Somerset.”

Somerset Chamber

Coronavirus

“Somerset Chamber of commerce are open and working hard to support our members across the Somerset business community.

Somerset Chamber have moved online with a full programme of webinars, networking events and briefings to ensure our members and the wider business community stay informed, connected and kept up to date of the latest developments.”

Somerset Chamber Events

Torbay

“Start Up Torbay is a fully-funded (free!) business programme designed specifically to help businesses in Torquay, Brixham and Paignton, whether you have a seed of an idea or you are already up and running.

Via a series of fun and friendly workshops and 1:1 sessions, you’ll learn all you need to get to grips with turning your business idea into a reality.

Spread across five morning workshop sessions, the programme will cover the basics of starting a business and will cover business planning, marketing, financial planning and promotion.”

In response to COVID-19 (coronavirus), Start-up Torbay is running their courses online.

Visit their website and social media for more information.

Facebook

Twitter

Start Up Torbay

You can also contact us by emailing skillslaunchpad@devon.gov.uk

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If you find any of the contact details on the site to be wrong, please contact us to let us know.