Top 10 Dorset Support Organisations

Resources for Dorset Businesses

Dorset business support

Some Dorset statistics

  • Population of 800,000 people (split almost equally between Dorset Council and BCP Council)
  • Over 52,000 businesses ((85% of whom are micro businesses, with many of these sole traders/ freelancers)
  • Annual economy worth over £18.5 billion
  • Area of 2,653 square kilometres (1,024 square miles)

If you are reading this you are probably one of those 52,000 businesses, congratulations!

This guide will signpost you to the most helpful support organisations in Dorset.

Talking about signposts …

talking signposts dorset business support

Dorset is well known for its traditional fingerposts but is the only county to have red ones. Explanations include:

  • Helping prison guards find the local lock-up when accompanying prisoners marching from Dorchester to the ships bound for Australia about 200 years ago;
  • Erected at junctions where gallows or gibbets once stood;
  • A legacy of the early road system making it mandatory for trustees to put up signs informing the traveller of the distance to the closest town.

The lessons are that Dorset has always been a little quirky (no motorways being just one!) but it has always tried to show the way, and sometimes even lead the way.

The top 10 Dorset Support Organisation described on the right are just a few of the organisations providing information and support to Dorset-based businesses in the county.

dorset biz logo

Dorset Biz News

In a world of economic downturn, negative news and too many advertising pop-ups, Dorset Biz News is a breath of fresh air.  Launched in 2019 it aims to provide interesting, lively and positive coverage of business in the county on a free-to-access website. It champions businesses of all sizes, but especially small and medium sized enterprises, while backing Dorset as a great place to do business.

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dorset business mentors

Dorset Business Mentors

Dorset Business Mentors Imagine having an experienced business mentor at your side, providing you with advice and support and being a sounding board when you need it. And all that for £200. Dorset Business Mentors link accomplished business mentors to businesses, charities and social enterprises in Dorset who want to realise their full potential. £200+VAT […]

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Dorset LEP

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (Dorset LEP)

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (Dorset LEP) Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (Dorset LEP) is a group of people who work together to make Dorset’s economy stronger. They work with local government, businesses, schools, and other organisations to make this happen. The key word with Dorset LEP is ‘partnership’. Dorset LEP has some money from the government […]

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BCP logo

BCP Council Business

BCP Council Business For all you companies resident in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole areas BCP Council’s Business portal should be familiar to you. Containing links to helpful information from Business Rates to Licenses and Permits it has recently been redeveloped by the Economic Development team and offers further links to free services such as: […]

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silicon south

Silicon South

Silicon South Silicon South is the network for the digital, creative and tech sectors in Dorset. It is a not-forprofit organisation created by the companies it champions. The network exists to raise the recognition, ambition and capabilities of the people and companies in the digital, creative and tech industries of Dorset, helping them to be […]

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Dorset Growth Hub

Dorset Growth Hub

Dorset Growth Hub Dorset Growth Hub has Dorset businesses in its heart and mind constantly. Thanks to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Dorset Growth Hub offers professional guidance to ambitious Dorset SME’s (small and medium sized enterprises with less than 250 employees), start-ups, micro-businesses and pre-starts looking to grow. Take advantage of the ERDF-funded […]

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dorset business angels

Dorset Business Angels

Dorset Business Angels If you are an ambitious growing organisation with a great idea, are seeking investment and enjoy the ‘Dragon’s Den’ style of pitching, then you should get to know Dorset Business Angels. Dorset Business Angels provide quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth investors and sophisticated investors, and help early-stage […]

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dorset chamber

Dorset Chamber

Dorset Chamber Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a member organisation whose mission is to deliver first class business services and support to members to help them to grow and prosper. There are many benefits from being a member, from a member directory listing and member networking events to business legal insurance, use of […]

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Dorset Engineering and Manufacturing Cluster

Dorset Engineering and Manufacturing Cluster

Dorset Engineering and Manufacturing Cluster Dorset is home to a vibrant and growing engineering and manufacturing ecosystem, with around 2,000 businesses in the sector in Dorset employing 28,000 people (8% of all employed and delivering over 9& of the Dorset economy). If you are an engineering and/or manufacturing company in Dorset and join Dorset Engineering […]

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dorset food and drink

Dorset Food & Drink

Dorset Food & Drink Dorset for and Drink is a not-for-profit, community interest company, celebrating and supporting food and drink businesses based in Dorset. It is a membership organisation for food and drink businesses based in Dorset which produce, serve and sell great local products, providing business support, marketing and promotion out to a wider […]

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Sarah’s ability to research, investigate and uncover key sector information quickly is a real skill, and vital for a growing company like ours

Emma Mahy, CEO, IoT Solutions Group Ltd

Sarah and I created a marketing Video on the topic of ISO/IEC 27001. Working together was a lot of fun and pleasant. She was very co-operative, and it turned out that her calming voice was the perfect match for our Video

Fridolin Leibetseder, Chief Information Security Officer, x-tention gmbH

Thank you for today’s social media post review meeting. In fact, thank you for all the review meetings. I always find them inspiring.

Sue Melia, Founder, Netconsult Online

Thanks for the charity project report it’s great, don’t what I would do without you.

Charmaine Beckles, Trustee, It’s All About Culture (IAAC) charity