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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are companies owned and run independently which make up the majority of businesses in global markets, contribute to economic growth and prosperity and are a key driver for employment and innovation.

Setting up a small business involves a number of challenges, particularly for those with no previous business experience. The ICAEW Library & Information Service provides access to a wide range of online and print resources, articles and books for those running their own business and for ICAEW Chartered Accountants advising SMEs.

What's on this page?

  • Key topics
  • eBooks
  • Briefings
  • Small Business Update
  • Articles and books in the Library collection
  • ICAEW support
  • Useful links

Contact the Library

Expert help for your enquiries and research.

E  library@icaew.com
T  +44 (0)20 7920 8620
F  +44 (0)20 7920 8621

Featured book

Business start up, 2014
Williams, S. (Pearson, 2013, 488 pages)
This Financial Times guide takes you through every important aspect of starting and running a business, including developing your idea and getting financial backing, recruiting staff, building customer relationships, sales, marketing, VAT and much more.

To borrow this book please contact the Library. 

Latest Small Business Update

Small Business Update from Atom Content Marketing is a monthly magazine for people running their own business. Articles vary in length and cover ‘hot topics’, issues of importance, and current affairs. 

Key topics

Our dedicated subject pages provide links and resources to a wide range of key issues for starting and running SMEs:


The Library provides full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers. eBooks are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users.

Accounting and finance for your small business

A guide to help small business owners through all of the key accounting and financial information required to operate a small business.

An executive guide to IFRS: content, costs and benefits to business

A short guide to the main features of IFRS and their uses.

Business plans that work

A guide for small businesses to writing a successful business plan.

Dynamic strategies for small businesses

A guide to strategic planning for SMEs from a US perspective.

Essential business finance: a complete guide to starting, expanding and selling your business

An introduction to finance aimed at the average business manager.

Showing 5 of 19 items

Terms of use: You are permitted to access, download, copy, or print out content from eBooks for your own research or study only, subject to the terms of use set by our suppliers and any restrictions imposed by individual publishers. Please see individual supplier pages for full terms of use.


Directors' Briefings and Start-Up Briefings are four-page guides written for the busy practitioner, director and entrepreneur providing concise, practical advice on core business issues.

Marketing your business


If you think marketing is just another term for advertising — think again. While advertising plays a part in promoting your business, marketing is a far broader concept.

Writing a business plan


Many potential start-up businesses are daunted by the prospect of compiling a business plan. But it is not an intimidating process — and a good business plan focuses the mind as well as helping to secure finance and support.

Disclaimer: These publications from Atom Content Marketing are for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

Small Business Update

Small Business Update is a monthly magazine for SMEs with articles covering the latest regulatory developments, practical advice and hot topics.

Showing 4 of 15 items

Articles and books in the Library collection

View a list of print and online resources from our collection on the following topics:

You can find more books and articles by searching LibCat, our online catalogue.

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.
You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.

ICAEW support

ICAEW Business Advice Service (BAS)
BAS offers small and medium-sized businesses a free initial consultation on any issue related to starting or running a business with an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

SME access to finance
This report published in January 2011 presents research results in order to advise and update the Coalition Government on issues affecting the current SME environment for borrowing and investment.

Run a successful business
This brochure published in 2010 examines the challenges involved in setting up and running a business and provides information how ICAEW Chartered Accountants can support SMEs.

More ICAEW resources for SMEs
Access the latest reports and surveys on SMEs and find more information on the SME funding adviser scheme.

Useful links

A guide to government support for small businesses
A quick guide to government support for SMEs from Clive Lewis, ICAEW Head of Enterprise.

Small Business Survey
This government survey is now undertaken every two years, carrying out a large-scale representative telephone survey of business owners and managers in the UK. It provides details of small business performance, looking at factors such as business capability, access to finance, obstacles to business success and business support.

Quarterly Survey of Small Business in Britain
Survey conducted by the Open University Business School tracking trends, performance and confidence across SMEs in the UK.

Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) Guides
Free short guides for SMEs, covering selecting an accountant, selecting a tax adviser and working with a recruitment consultant.

Can't find what you are looking for?

If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by fax on +44 (0)20 7920 8621 or by email at library@icaew.com.

ICAEW accepts no responsibility for the content on any site to which a hypertext link from this site exists. The links are provided ‘as is’ with no warranty, express or implied, for the information provided within them. Please see the full copyright and disclaimer notice.