Enterprise SU,  WFH Support

Small Business and Self-Employed Support in the Face of COVID-19

As students setting up your own businesses, we understand that the current situation may prove to be frustrating for many of you. Its important to remember that you’re not going through this alone, and that many other startup founders are facing the same feelings of frustration and confusion as they aim to navigate this difficult time. Luckily, the government have recognised how COVID-19 will have a huge impact on small businesses and the self-employed, and have stepped in to provide temporary measures of support and financial aid.

Not all of these may be relevant to you, however they’re worth looking into to see if you could benefit from some of the support on offer.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

COVID-19 Small Business Grant Scheme

Claiming Research and Development tax reliefs

Coronavirus Self Employed Income Support Scheme

Facebook Small Business Grants Programme

We recognise also that some of you may be too early-stage to seek financial support, and are still building your business before reaching the point of trade. Support is available for you too.

DogPatch Labs have created a platform that is enabling tech founders to come together to learn, connect, and grow through mentorship, lightening talks, and key-note speakers. They have partnered with numerous organisations such as Google, Enterprise Ireland, Ulster Bank, and Facebook to deliver a free service that will motivate you to use this period in a productive way. This initiative is held on Fridays and is called ‘First Fridays for Startups.’ The next one is taking place virtually on the 3rd of April. Find out more and apply for mentorship here.

Facebook have launched an initiative that is providing courses for businesses to help founders learn how to best minimize disruption during uncertain times. These courses are focused around how to use various social media channels to connect with your customers and sell your product remotely. Find them here.

Eloquens.com have released a number of free tools and methodologies online. Their Coronavirus (COVID-19) Best Practices are diverse models, templates, methodologies and sets of advice to put into practice during the crisis. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Best Practices will help you minimise the negative impact that the virus outbreak might have on your professional activity. They will also provide you with means to quickly adapt to the changing situation.

Leapers.co is an online community providing support to freelancers and the self-employed, offering tangible resources, guides, and mental health initiatives to make your life that bit easier. We believe that Leapers is a great thing to be involved in if you are feeling overwhelmed or isolated under the pressure of the current situation.

We also strongly encourage you to get onto LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to interact with your network and discover the range of free webinars, podcasts, and business tools that are currently on offer. The business and startup community are really pulling together at this time to help each other out, and so this is a great time to connect with like-minded individuals and learn from professionals in your field.

Finally, the Enterprise SU Team are fully available for 1-2-1 support over email or Skype, and are happy to help. Whether you want to talk COVID-19, bounce some ideas off us, or ask some general questions about your startup, we’re here to support you. Contact enterprisesu@qub.ac.uk to arrange a chat.

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