Queen Mary Business Support
Obtaining professional advice is so important when setting up a business. But specialist legal, financial and business advisers can be expensive when you’re just starting out.
So here at London Business Hub we have teamed up with Queen Mary University of London to help you access free guidance and support. Through the University’s award-winning pro bono commercial law service (qLegal) and its established service providing financial and business advice (qNomics), businesses can access free advice and support from selected final year or postgraduate Queen Mary students. Each student and graduate will work under the supervision of experienced City lawyers and finance practitioners, providing you with one-to-one support and access to a range of workshops.
Over the coming months we will be delivering the following three online workshops for entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses.
Obtaining Funding for Your Business workshop
This 45-minute online workshop will cover whether and when a business needs external funding, and look at the pros and cons of different funding options including:
- Borrowing: from family and friends; from the bank or other institution
- Selling a share in the business
- Crowdfunding and gifts
- Government Grants
You will also learn what to do next if you cannot secure funding.
Effective Business Planning workshop
This 45-minute online workshop will help you understand the basic elements behind planning your business and the way to think about setting it up.
The important thing is to first think about your mission statement.
- What products and services you set up
- Competitiveness of your product
- Cash flows and balance sheet
You will learn how to think about your business in terms of premises now and for the future that will help you in applying for funding to support your business.
Protecting Your Intellectual Property workshop
A business doesn’t just own physical assets. This 45-minute online workshop will help you understand the value your business owns through its intellectual property rights:
- Trade mark
- Design Rights
You will learn how to protect your rights, through registration and Confidentiality Agreements; plus ways in which you can use your Intellectual Property to your commercial advantage.
One-to-one legal and financial support and guidance
Financial advice from qNomics
You can also access one-to-one advice through ‘qNomics’, Queen Mary University’s student-led venture within the School of Economics & Finance, providing free financial guidance to tech start-up companies and entrepreneurs. The programme stresses concepts central to fostering an understanding of the entrepreneurial business environment.
qNomics offers free financial guidance that covers a range of complex financial issues including:
- Market strategy – Advice on how to bring your products into market, and insights into relevant sector.
- Business planning – Practical advice on appropriate steps to take in order to grow the business.
- Accounting – Practical advice and best practice on how to manage financials.
- Funding – Assistance on investor pitch-decks, pitching advice, introduction to relevant people in the network subject to readiness of the business.
- Data analytics and targeted marketing surveys.
Advice delivery: Advice is delivered by qNomics student advisers under the supervision of qualified practitioners. If you book an advice session with us you will:
- Attend an appointment with two qNomics advisers and a qualified practitioner.
- Receive written advice within three weeks.
The aim of the appointment is for us to understand your financial issues and gather information. We do not provide advice during the appointment. Once we have considered your issue we ensure that any advice we provide is checked by a qualified practitioner. Contact us to book a free advice appointment.
Legal guidance from qLegal
One-to-one legal support and guidance
You can also access one-to-one legal guidance through Queen Mary’s award winning pro bono law clinic, ‘qLegal’. Postgraduate law students are selected and trained by the clinic and provide guidance to businesses under the supervision of practising lawyers from leading City firms.
‘qLegal’ can support you with a range of legal issues such as:
- How to structure your business – Sole trader, partnership, limited, company, and social enterprise
- Data protection and GDPR compliance – Privacy policies
- Protecting your Intellectual Property – Non-Disclosure Agreements, trade marks, copyright, patents, and industrial design
- Commercial agreements – Terms & Conditions, supplier contracts
How does it work?
During the application you outline your needs. If the clinic can help, they’ll contact you to book you in for a 45 minute meeting with three students and a supervising lawyer. Within 3 weeks from the meeting, you will receive your written legal guidance.
To be eligible , your annual turnover must fall under ‘qLegal’s’ threshold:
- £1,000,000 for a social enterprise or not-for-profit
- £25,000 for a for-profit organisation
- £10,000 for an individual entrepreneur
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