Raising business finance to turn an amazing idea into reality or to invest in business growth plans can be challenging. Bank lending for start-up and growing businesses is still in the doldrums despite the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending Scheme. But entrepreneurs love a challenge and there are opportunities out there, and more options are emerging to fill the funding gap and provide much needed support to SME’s. Here are some of the best resources to help you get your business funded and off the ground.
The business finance landscape is continually changing and researching available funding options can be time consuming, so here are some resources to help you find funding opportunities.
The UK government has pledged to do more to help small businesses and offers grants and schemes that businesses can apply for depending on their market, geographic location and funding objectives.
- Gov.uk is a good place to find government services and includes a handy business finance support finder to search for grants.
- Scottish Enterprise and Business Gateway are a good starting point for businesses based in Scotland and local Business Gateway offices offer one to one advice and support so it’s worth looking up your local office on their website.
- The government backed British Business Bank works with 80 different finance providers to lend to SME’s who may be struggling to access finance from traditional sources. Check out their comprehensive Business Finance Guide. The bank uses business angels, venture capital funds and trade credit providers, as well as traditional banks to fund start-ups and growing UK businesses.
- Startup loans is a government funded scheme to provide loans and mentors for entrepreneurs. Virgin startup is a not-for-profit organisation supported by the Virgin Group that helps entrepreneurs with the small business funding, resources and advice they’ll need to make their business idea a reality.
- Better Business Finance provides impartial information and support to businesses and entrepreneurs looking to develop and grow.
- Alternative Business Funding is a non-bank funders collaboration designed to provide free and easy access to selecting alternative business funding for SME’s including crowdfunding, invoice trading, peer-to-peer and pension-led funding, with more to join the collaboration in the future.
- Growth Accelerator is a service led by some of the country’s most successful growth specialists where high growth businesses can find new connections, new routes to investment and new ideas and strategy.