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You are here: Home » Career Sector Information » Self Employment

Self Employment

Self Employment

Yorkshire is a great place to set up a business. The region boasts some greatly success's with York the UK's most profitable town for business, Leeds the fastest growing media centre outside of London and Sheffield home to one of the fastest growing economies in the UK. Last year the region became the home of around 35,000 new business start-ups - that's about 2.5 for every 1000 people who call Yorkshire home!

There are loads of things you need to consider before you set up in business. You need to figure out whether it's the right choice for you and if your business idea is really headed for success. This means lots of research and planning before you begin trading and lot's of hard work once you've set up in business.

Running a business is not for everyone. It's worth exploring the idea and your skill sets and motivation with trained enterprise advisors before you take the plunge. A great place to start is your university Careers Service or a local or University based Enterprise Centre.

Read on to find out more about how you go about starting a business and check out your region for links to projects and organisations that can help guide and support you along the way.

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Useful links:

The Enterprise Shows

The Enterprise Shows website contains a really good self-assessment questionnaire on whether you might be right for self-employment. There is also information on the Yorkshire and Humber Enterprise Shows that are run over four weekends in the Spring each year. They are free to attend.

Young People's Enterprise Forum (YPEF)

The Young People's Enterprise Forum (YPEF) is an umbrella organisation of agencies in the region that was set up to promote enterprising behaviours, attributes and skills among young people. A number of projects take place throughout the region.

Connect Yorkshire

Connect Yorkshire can help you if you want to set up a technology-based business, by providing education on business development issues, and assisting the securing of funding.

Their website also has useful links to other sources of help and help to link new businesses with potential investors.

Growing Routes

Growing Routes helps people under 45 years old, living in rural parts of Yorkshire and Humber, to start new businesses.

Rural Opportunities for Self-Employment (ROSE)

The Prince's Trust ROSE Project aims to reduce rural isolation and retain enterprising young people in five rural areas of Yorkshire. If you're 18-30 and live in one of these areas, the ROSE project may be able to help you start your own business.


The UK association of organisations and individuals who support women to start and grow businesses. You can search for events taking place in Yorkshire. They also have very useful links to help within the region for women setting up in business.

Forward Ladies

Networking organisation for women in business, supported by Yorkshire Forward.

Shell LiveWire

Shell LiveWire is also useful to get you started and from here you can also connect to local support. They help 16-30 year olds start-up businesses.

The Prince's Trust

Provides loans, grants and business support for young people aged 18 -30 who are unemployed or work less than 16 hours a week.


Helping those over 50 start and run their own business or become self-employed.

LEGI funded programmes

Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI) is a regeneration programme designed to increase total entrepreneurial activity in deprived local areas, support the growth and reduce the failure rate of locally-owned businesses; and attract appropriate inward investment and franchising - making use of local labour resources. LEGI is a joint programme between the Department for Communities and Local Government, HM Treasury and the Department for Trade and Industry. £69 million has been awarded to Yorkshire and the Humber to promote enterprise and employment. The successful Local Authorities are Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster and North East Lincolnshire in addition to Bradford who have already been awarded £21 million under the same scheme. See the individual area pages for further details of the schemes which have been set up in these Local Authority areas.