As the UK continues to witness record numbers of people starting and growing a business, ensuring funding flows to these companies remains a hot topic. The past five years have been filled with innovation when it comes to new sources of funding so every month this year we'll be profiling the new options and other sources of finance for your business. Part one is here and you read part two below.
The advice is part of our Show me the money! campaign supported by HSBC and KPMG. As well as the content, you can attend events in Birmingham, London and Bristol and meet lots of funders with money on offer! The events cost just £10 for non-members or free for members. Find out more here.
Big Lottery Fund
If yours is a voluntary or community based business, the Big Lottery Fund could be right up your street. It offers lottery grants of between £300 and £10,000 and you can view funding options and organisations who have received grants via the website.
Big Society Capital
One of the most significant developments in funding for the social enterprise sector is the creation of Big Society Capital, the world's first social investment bank with a funding base of £600 million. Big Society Capital works by investing in intermediaries who directly fund social enterprises.
British Business Bank
Describing itself as "a government-owned business development bank dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses" the British Business Bank steps in to increase funding to small businesses when it feels the market is not doing its job. The British Business Bank does not lend directly to small businesses; instead it funnels public money to over 80 partners including banks, peer lending platforms and venture capital funds, so they can do the lending and investing. Check out finance options for your stage of growth through their website, which links to British Business Bank backed funds.
Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs)
The definition of a CDFI is an institution that “lends money to businesses, social enterprises and individuals who struggle to get finance from high street banks and loan companies. They help deprived communities by offering loans and support at an affordable rate to people who cannot access credit elsewhere.”
CDFIs are independent, often locally-based organisations, operating in all regions of the UK. They provide finance for a range of purposes, including working capital, bridging loans, property and equipment purchase, and start-up capital. Find a CDFI in your area through the Responsible Finance website.
Enter competitions to win profile and prizes which can often come in the form of cash! One such competition is Shell LiveWIRE which has operated since 1982, offering start-up awards to young people across the UK with a monthly competition of prizes of up to £5,000 and an annual Young Entrepreneur award worth £10,000. There's also the popular VOOM competition run by Virgin Media Business, where contestants get to pitch to Sir Richard Branson and win a share of £1m in prizes.
Other competitions aimed squarely at small businesses with cash as an element include Nectar Small Business Awards.
- Shell LiveWIRE @shelllivewireuk
- Nectar Small Business Awards
- Entrepreneur Handbook list of competitions
The Show me the money! campaign is supported by: