For 2 months I conducted basic research to find the top 10 websites for entrepreneurs. Over 500 people (who work in an advisory/business support capacity in academia, the public and private sectors as well as people running businesses) were asked the single question “What websites do you recommend people use..?”
The aim of the exercise was to clear the fog of information. Hundreds if not thousands of websites claim to provide support, information and advice to entrepreneurs. Such duplication and fragmentation is confusing and undermines what is really credible. So what did the research uncover?
In total, respondents recommended nearly 100 different sites. No single site stood out completely. However, the final count provided a conclusive top 10 websites for entrepreneurs.
Whilst no locally or regionally focussed website received sufficient numbers of votes to make the top slots, two universities (Birmingham & Bristol) were recommended as popular portals. Both provide high quality information and signpost students to external websites that add value.
One example of an external website serving the needs of thousands of users is run by the Northern Ireland Business Enterprise Agency ‘Advantage NI‘. From ‘Business Profiling’ and ‘Bootcamps’ through to ‘Market Synopsis’ and ‘Export Support’, this site looks comprehensive, highly applicable and worth a visit.
Making the top 10 websites for entrepreneurs
Respondents noted favourites for different reasons. As you will see, the top 10 websites for entrepreneurs includes a mix of the creative and inspiring as well as some that simply focus on robust factual data. Of note is the fact bank websites received little more than a sniff of appreciation from respondents. That said, HSBC and Lloyds were complemented for their ‘Start-Up’ Guides.
Equally noteworthy was the sparsity of interest in ‘crowdfunding‘ sites that help people raise funds when starting in business. Seedrs for example is dedicated to helping people raise start-up capital as well as signposting investors to new businesses. Will sites like this become future favourites?
Whilst the research asked for recommended websites, many respondents were also keen to suggest social media content and great YouTube videos. Since I received so much data I’ve published a separate Blog Post highlighting the material available.
But for now, here are the top 10 websites for entrepreneurs in order of popularity. Please note this is only a top-line survey and more robust research is needed to help provide the definitive list. However, I hope this post kick-starts thinking and helps you to find, recommend and use credible and valuable information.
Leading the top 10 websites for entrepreneurs, this website provides an array of relevant information all presented in an easy to access and digest manner. From ‘what business to start’ to an on-line forum for advice on IT purchases and franchise creation, it seems this site has data on everything the entrepreneur needs to get going.
Whilst some of the information on this US portal may not be UK relevant, the interactive nature of the site combined with its powerful blog and commitment to answering ‘How to..?’ questions gets it to the No.2 slot.
Whether it’s information about a specific type of business to start or advice on trademarks, copyright and IP , this is the place for the facts. Don’t expect stunning graphics but the navigation is straightforward. You’ll also find links to all other relevant government sites.
Surprised me that two government sites should make the top four, but clearly good things are being done to make every detail about tax (PAYE, VAT, Corporation Tax, NI, Self Assessment etc.) and finance easily available. You can even register as a user on this site.
Use the site to get advice, see films of successful entrepreneurs talking about their journey and/or access the organisation’s ‘Business Builder’ (chargeable); this site combines information with highly innovative and valuable services for the entrepreneur.
Comprehensive portal of information, advice, guidance and ideas on everything linked to business creation and management. The availability of free document templates and provision of an event diary makes this site a must for any budding entrepreneur.
Linked to the Oil Giant, this site is highly credible. Annual awards event and 4 * £1,000 monthly prizes marks Shell Livewire out from others. I was a beneficiary of this organisation 20 years ago, so can only endorse all their work to date.
Cobweb researches, publishes and continually updates a range of practical publications and information services for small and micro business owners, business advisers and enterprise practitioners and small business funders.
Organisation that seeks to unite entrepreneurs behind a single cause. Information about local events and provision of supplier offers tailored to the entrepreneur’s point on the journey makes this portal stand out and thus achieve top 10 status.
Perhaps the best global source of on-line information for educators. The ‘Entrepreneur’s Corner’ provides archive content from the STVP which includes a vast array of film content on just about every subject linked to entrepreneurship.
Hopefully you can ‘hitchhike’ virtually around the recommended sites and use as well as share new-found information with the people with whom you work and support.
Thank you to everyone who took part in this simple survey; if the resultant information has brightened your day or made your life a little easier, then please let me know or leave a post below!
As I suggested earlier in the article, since there are so many websites providing information in this field, it’s really important to continually work to cut through the fog so the top 10 websites for entrepreneurs can be discovered and shared. So may be this is an annual task…