Start a business

If you’re 18 or over, have the right skills and a great business idea, you might be thinking about starting a business.

Starting a business can be exciting, but it’s also challenging. You should think about it carefully before you decide.

What to consider

Choosing to start a business can be a hard decision to make.

To help you decide, you may want to think about how you'll:

  • pay for housing, bills and food until your business takes off
  • get the funding you need to pay for your business expenses
  • research to see if your business idea is possible
  • create a business plan

If you’re not sure whether starting a business is the right choice for you, you can speak to a careers advisor.

Skills you’ll need

Before you start a business, it’s a good idea to look at some of the skills that can help you succeed.

You can get help identifying your skills and developing your skills if you need to.

To start a business, you’ll need skills in:

  • finance
  • marketing
  • communication
  • time management
  • leadership
  • business planning


If you’re aged 18 to 30, you can apply for the Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme. They offer funding from £1,000 to £5,000.

There are also government-backed schemes offering financial help. Some of these schemes are open to 18 year olds, but not all.


The Prince’s Trust has a wide range of resources and tools to help you get started, including:

  • business plan templates
  • finance advice
  • hints and tips

Next steps

If you think you’d like to start a business, what you need to do next will depend on:

  • the type of business you want to start
  • where you'll work
  • if you want to hire employees

Check to see what you need to do to set up your business

Speak to an adviser

Wherever you are with your decisions, you can call us on 0800 100 900 during our opening times.

You can also use webchat to talk online.