Business support and advice

Many business support organisations can provide support and advice to Hackney businesses on a range of issues, from how to start a business or work for yourself, to creating effective marketing or business plans, to raising finance. Support may be delivered through one to one sessions, workshops, over the phone or online.

See below for contacts and a brief summary of organisations or projects which can help you access support for your business. 

Business support organisations 

Bright Ideas Trust

Bright Ideas Trust can help you start a business, gain access to mentoring and expert business support. Available if you are between 16-30 years old.  

British Library: Business & IP Centre

British Library: Business & IP Centre is a valuable source of information on intellectual property, advice sessions with experts and business training. Telephone: 020 7412 7901.

Business continuity management

It's very important for businesses to be prepared for an emergency or crisis. We encourage all businesses in Hackney to have an effective business continuity management plan in place.

Find out how you can plan for and respond to emergencies, usingbusiness continuity management.

Business Debtline

Business Debtline offers free advice to help your business deal with debt or cash flow problems. Telephone: 0800 197 6026. 

CIDA (Cultural Industries Development Agency)

CIDA (Cultural Industries Development Agency) is one of the foremost creative and cultural support organisations in London, and can help you take your creative business or project further. Telephone: 020 7247 4710, email:

East London Business Place

East London Business Place provides support to help businesses become ready to tender for contracts. They have a database of tender opportunities, and work to match up suppliers with buyers. Telephone: 020 7537 6480. has lots of information on how to start a business, such as getting funding, researching your market, development and planning, setting up your business and how to find partners, suppliers and premises. You can also find information about business finance, support, grants and loans.


GRANTNet is a service designed to help businesses and community organisations find funding. 

Hackney Council's business rates team 

The business rates team collects business rates (national non-domestic rates) on behalf of central government. They have information on small business relief, and exemptions, and can help if you have queries about your business rates bill.  

HBV Enterprise

HBV Enterprise is an award-winning organisation providing support to people and businesses. They can help you plan your business idea, access funding and make your business a success. Telephone: 020 7254 9595, email:

HCD (Hackney Co-operative Developments)

HCD (Hackney Co-operative Developments) works with businesses in Dalston, providing support and mentoring to help business work together to take the most advantage of local and regional opportunities. Telephone: 020 7993 3645 Email:

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the Government department in charge of tax revenues. They have a lot of information for businesses with tax or benefit questions. 

Invest in Hackney

Invest in Hackney is the borough's foremost source of intelligence on property and investment trends. They can help your business identify locations and work with you, the Council planning department and other parties to create successful planning applications. Telephone: 020 8356 5167 and email:

London & Partners

London & Partners is the official foreign direct investment agency for London. They can help your business expand in London, by identifying opportunities and connecting you with expert advisors. Telephone: 020 7718 5400. 

Open to Export

Open to Export is a community-driven service for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) looking for support to grow internationally by exporting from the UK. Companies can work together and share information, advice and support about export market opportunities and means of entry. The information, answers, advice and articles on Open to Export are all composed by the site's users, community and key contributors. 

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI)

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government department which encourages foreign direct investment and helps UK-based companies to export elsewhere.  

Business membership groups 

Business in the Community

Business in the Community is a business group which helps its membership to develop corporate responsibility and tackle some of the largest problems facing businesses in Britain. Telephone: 020 7566 8650 Email:

Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is the UK's top business lobby. Membership with them confers a range of benefits and influence which can help your business. Telephone: 020 7379 7400. 

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is the UK's leading business organisation. It lobbies in support of self-employed and small business owners, and provides business services and legal advice to members. Telephone: 01253 336000. 

Institute of Directors (IoD)

Institute of Directors (IoD) is a membership organisation for business leaders, offering training and development, business intelligence and premises across the UK. Telephone: 020 7766 8866.  

How to do green business in Hackney

For more information about Council services that help you reduce business waste and your environmental impact in Hackney, see:

You may also be interested in selling or using Fairtrade goods.

Free business support from Green Light North London

Green Light North London can help you:

  • develop an action plan to save energy, cut waste and reduce water use
  • produce an environmental policy tailored to your business
  • gain accreditation to eco-standards, such as ISO 14001
  • understand and comply with legislation
  • market your green credentials and win more business

How to make your business accessible to disabled customers

There are over 35,000 disabled people living in Hackney, nearly 15% of the total population. It makes good business sense to ensure that your premises and the goods and services you offer are accessible to disabled people.

Making your premises, goods and services accessible to disabled people 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission's guide focuses on making your premises physically accessible, while Invest Northern Ireland's guide to access and facilities for disabled people also explains how you can change the way you work as a business to accommodate a disabled person's needs. 

Employing disabled staff's guide to employing disabled people and people with health conditions provides all the information you need when employing disabled staff, including providing support with their career. 

Communicating with disabled people's guides on inclusive communications cover all areas of communication with disabled people from appropriate language and images, to channels and formats.

Page updated: 16/01/2018 10:44:57