Starting Out

Our business start-up process is a mix of training, practical assistance and where eligible, financial support aimed at helping you to plan, set up and run your own business in South Durham.

Pandemic Business Reovery

This project is funded through South Durham Community Led Local Development Programme as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The PBRG can provide grant support to people living in the CLLD area (defined loosely as the Spenny and Bishop Auckland and Shildon AAP areas). 

people must:

  • Work with SDEA on producing a suitable business plan

The fund can not fund:

  • Second hand items are not eligible
  • Recurring revenue items are not eligible (e.g. stock, staff salaries, phone bills, rent etc)

Grant applications must demonstrate that the business is seeking to reover, grow and take advantage of an opportunity and be able to deliver and spend the grant before the 31st December 2022.

Grants of upto £8,000 are available 

Grants will require applicant to match fund projects. Grants will cover up to 60% of project costs with applicants expected to fund the remaining balance of their project costs. 

Contact the team to check eligibiltiy and make an enquiry on 01388 776688 to arrange a meeting.


An initial appointment with an Business Advisor to discuss:

  • Your business idea
  • The practical assistance available
  • Grants & financial incentives
  • Preparing a Business Plan
  • Cash Flow Forecast
  • A Pre-Start Training Course
  • Enterprise Essentials Workshops - business skills training
  • 4 x Workshops to help understand the process of becoming self employed
    • Introduction to Self Employment Getting the Basics Right
    • Business Planning
    • Financial Planning
    • Marketing

Once you start trading we will help you to:

  • Register as self-employed (Inland Revenue)
  • Set up suitable accounts
  • Review your progress
  • Ongoing help & support

To arrange an appointment contact the Start Up team on 01388 776688

Useful Links

Links to sites and companies that may be able to help you when you are starting up your business. South Durham Enterprise Agency is not responsible for the content of external internet sites: