Starting a small business in London: where to get funding

Starting a small business in London: where to get funding
Grow London Local
Grow London LocalMatching London small businesses to support

Posted: Fri 7th Jun 2024

London is a bustling hub of innovation and opportunity. If you need finance, it's crucial that you know what options are available to get your new business up and running.

From bank loans to angel investment to crowdfunding, there are lots of avenues to explore. Here's a quick guide to the key sources of funding that can help you make your dream business a reality.

Your options for funding a new London business

Personal savings

Like many new founders, you might rely on your own savings to get started. The big benefit is that it's entirely up to you how you use the money – you don't need anyone else's approval.

And while it can involve some personal risk, it does give you full control over your business' financial decisions.

Friends and family

It's also common to ask friends and family for support. You can negotiate a flexible schedule for repaying the money and give yourself more freedom.

If you borrow from relatives or friends, set out clear expectations at the beginning, so everyone knows the terms of the deal.

Bank loan

In London, you can find many banks and financial institutions offering business loans with different interest rates and terms.

Banks will typically ask to see a solid business plan, security for the loan and a good credit history before they approve the lending.

Startup loans

If you're over 18 and have a viable business idea, you can borrow up to £25,000 from the government's Start Up Loans scheme and pay it back over one to five years at a fixed interest rate. The scheme also includes free mentoring and business support.

Angel investors

Angels are wealthy people who provide finance to startups in exchange for a stake in the business. London has an active network of angel investors, including organisations like Newable and the UK Angel Investment Network.

Beyond financing, angel investors offer mentorship and access to their connections and contacts.


Crowdfunding platforms allow you to raise money from a large pool of individual investors online. These campaigns can generate a lot of public interest in your business. You can use platforms such as Seedrs or Crowdcube to get funded.

Venture capitalists (VCs)

VC firms invest in startups they believe can grow quickly and ask to own part of your business in return. London is home to many VC firms that specialise in different sectors ranging from technology to healthcare.

Government and local authority grants

The government and local councils across the UK often provide grants and subsidies to encourage entrepreneurship. In London, you can explore grants offered by organisations like UK Research and Innovation and the Greater London Authority (GLA).


In London, new founders like you have access to a wide range of financing options. Assess each one carefully and make sure it fits your business plan. Understanding business funding in this way can set your business up for success in the London business community.

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