Get Britain Growing

Funding for Growth

Government Schemes

The Government has developed a number of schemes and measures to help SMEs get access to finance and support them in their growth. Here are the primary schemes designed to help small and medium-sized businesses grow in 2013… Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme (EFG) Smart Scheme (R&D) Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) UK Export Finance (UKEF) UK Innovation Investment Fund (UKIIF) Enterprise Capital Funds (ECFs) Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) Business Angel Co-Investment Fund StartUp Loans National Loan Guarantee Scheme (NLGS) Community Development Finance Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme (EFG) The Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme is designed to facilitate loans to viable SMEs that lack the security or track record for a busiens... »

Working Capital Loans – Agreed in Days, Not Months

Funding Circle is the UK’s first peer to peer business loans provider. With over £90 million* already lent to businesses by thousands of people around the UK, it is rapidly becoming a popular source of loans for working capital, expansion, and many other purposes. One simple online application Fast turnaround: get a decision in 2 days All-purpose loans to suit your business needs In addition, if you take out a Funding Circle loan, the Government will lend up to 20% of the total amount. It’s part of the Business Finance Partnership programme* and you can read more about this programme here. Loans up to £1 million available Funding Circle offers loans of up to £1 million, repayable over 1, 3 or 5 years. These loans are available to established, creditworthy busi... »

What do SMEs need to be aware of when seeking and applying for business funding?

There are a number of things you should consider and steps you can take to ensure you identify the right source of funding for your business project. Remember that: As well as grants and loans, your business may be eligible for tax relief schemes. There are a number of capital allowance schemes that have been introduced in the UK to encourage investment in particular assets or by particular types of businesses, including SMEs. R&D tax credits offer tax relief for small businesses which invest in the conception and implementation of new product ideas, and there are also direct investment incentive schemes. All offer tax incentives to encourage investment – and, in turn, growth – in qualifying companies. Often it is the lack of a particular skill or skills which your company wishes to ad... »

Market Invoice

Anil Stocker, co-founder of MarketInvoice: “A solution to the issue of squeezed funding for small businesses has emerged in the form of alternative finance, which is making up the shortfall by delivering business funding seamlessly via the internet. It’s cheaper than traditional providers because it connects borrowers directly with lenders, skipping out the bureaucracy of banks.” MarketInvoice, an alternative online finance provider, has helped hundreds of SMEs overcome funding gaps by allowing them to raise funds against invoices from their large corporate customers whenever they need to on an online platform, with no long-term contracts or obligations to use the service, and cash arriving hours after a request is submitted. It essentially offers a whole new model of inv... »


Since 2001, j4bGrants has been dedicated to providing a funding information portal for UK small businesses or businesses looking to move to the UK. Housing thousands of funding opportunities – from European funding at one end of the spectrum to local small business schemes at the other – j4bGrants aims to ensure that small businesses are fully aware of the money available out there to support them. j4bGrants content is updated on a daily basis by a dedicated research team to ensure that users can stay ahead of the competition in the hunt for funding. j4bGrants provides a wealth of tools and resources for small businesses for free no matter whether they are just starting out or looking for finance to help them expand. Explore the site now – thousands of grants, loans and equity opportunitie... »

Filling the Early-stage Funding Gap

by Jeff Lynn, CEO of Seedrs Seedrs is an online platform for investing in seed-stage startups. We’re often referred to as an equity crowdfunding platform and are currently the fastest growing such platform in the world with over £1.1 million invested since launching in July 2012. Seedrs was born out of a desire to solve two problems with early-stage funding. The first problem is that for brand new businesses, it can be very difficult to access the capital needed to take a first step, such as creating a minimum viable product for a technology company or leasing space for a retail shop. These businesses are too small for VCs, don’t have the traction required by business angels and are too high-risk for banks to lend to. So, unless the entrepreneurs have really wealthy famil... »

Crowdcube – Transforming Equity Finance

Whether you’re starting a new business or looking to expand an existing one, the task of securing investment is notoriously difficult. Banks tend to adopt a no-risk approach to lending and venture capital funding can be hard to access. Deciding which source of finance is appropriate to bridge the funding gap is made even more difficult in the current economic climate. As well as the more traditional routes to funding there are some innovative new ways that entrepreneurs can use to raise capital. Luke Lang, co-founder and marketing director of Crowdcube, explains how equity crowdfunding could be the answer. How Crowdfunding Works Crowdfunding works by allowing many people to pool small amounts of money together in support of a person, idea or business. There are two key types of crowd... »

A List of Banks Offering Business Acounts

Business bank accounts differ from regular current or savings accounts. Offering services such as online banking, foreign exchange policies and payment/collection options, small business banking is the most appropriate option for UK SMEs. Whether you’re a sole trader or a medium-sized enterprise, there are a number of banks offering business banking. Below is a list of small business banking services offered in the UK. Aldermore Launched in 2009 Aldermore is one of Britain’s new "challenger banks" and is focused on helping British SMEs. Bank of Scotland Business Banking Offering free 18 months day-to-day banking, free guidance & support, free Sage planning software. Barclays Business Banking Your own Local Business Manager, choice of start-up packages, free local ... »

Asset Based Finance

The Industry The Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA) is the trade association for an industry with fifty years experience of supplying much needed liquidity to clients. The members provide factoring, invoice discounting and asset based lending (ABL) to 43,000 UK and Irish businesses. Last year the total annual turnover of companies using asset based finance (ABF) reached more than £250bn, while the total funding at the end of the most recent quarter available (Q4 2012) stood at some £16.7bn. Of the 43,000 firms which use asset based finance 83% are SMEs (£0-5.0m t/o) with this form of finance playing an increasingly vital part in the UK’s funding landscape. The Products In its simplest form ABF involves companies using their unpaid receivables as a mechanism for ... »