Get Britain Growing

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 ... »

UKTI Services

UK Trade annd Investment provide a wide range of services to help UK businesses export. International Trade Advisors Passport to Export Gateway to Global Growth OMIS – Overseas Market Introduction Service Tradeshow Access Programme Open to Export Head Start Business Opportunity Alerts International Trade Advisors UKTI’s International Trade Teams are located in over 40 local offices around the country. Every UK region also has dedicated sector specialists who can provide support tailored to your industry. An International Trade Adviser will provide professional advice on a range of our services, including financial subsidies, export documentation, contacts in overseas markets, overseas visits, e-commerce, export training and market research. Meeting with a trade expert face-to-f... »

Apprentices Can Help SMEs

In today’s turbulent economic climate, many employers consider the skills shortage and recruitment difficulties a bigger challenge than soaring oil prices or declining consumer spending. And for SMEs with limited resources, finding the right staff can be especially challenging. Thankfully, an increasing number of organisations are recognising that apprenticeships offer a cost effective route to securing highly motivated and ambitious staff who can be trained on the job. Some would even argue that fully trained apprentices can be more effective than new graduates who sometimes lack the skills for a specific job role. With case study evidence, Rachael Fidler, Managing Director of HTP Training explains why apprenticeship programmes are a win-win for SMEs. She explains how a well-designe... »

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