For small business owners or entrepreneurs, sourcing finance can be daunting and confusing. Whilst there is funding and support out there with options to fit most every type of business, the difficulty can be in finding the right one for you.
We know from experience that many small enterprises start off by using their savings, loans, or overdrafts but we also know that whilst these may help you get going, the truth is that none of these are going to sustain you in the long term.
Don’t despair, there are options and we’re going to outline a couple of them below-
Depending on your field there could be specialist bodies who are able to help your business financially and or on a more practical level. Some of these may offer loans (meaning you must repay them) and some offer grants (payments that are awarded and do not USUALLY have to be repaid).
There are some prominent grant awarding bodies that you’ve probably heard of such as The Prince’s Trust and Funding Circle, but honestly there are so many to choose from, and most of them you would never know exist IF YOU DON’T LOOK IN THE RIGHT PLACES!
Researching can be time consuming but if you’re successful in securing funds then that investment of your time is definitely worth it.
The great thing about a specialist body is that any support on offer generally comes as part of a wider package. This can be anything from help with business related issues, networking with other similar businesses or even a mentor.
The key here is to make the most of what’s on offer. Really think about what it is that your enterprise needs BEYOND money and try to find the specialist package that covers all, or at least many of your wider needs.
The UK Government website has a full searchable list of grants and financial support potentially available to you. You can find it here
British Business Bank-
We’ve written about the British Business Bank before – you can find the full article here but let’s go through some of the highlights.
The programme offers loans (from £500 to £25,000, at 6% interest) alongside free mentoring and support to individuals who are starting a new business or who have been trading for less than three years. A real bonus of this is that the loan is unsecured, so there’s no need to put forward any assets or guarantors to support an application.
A start-up loan is a government-backed personal loan available to individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK.
You must also fit a certain criteria to be able to receive a loan. These are things like being eighteen years of age or older, starting a new business or you’ve been trading for less than 36 months and are unable to secure finance from other sources. You must also be a current resident of the UK with full rights to work and your business must be based within the UK.
For more information and details about the British Business Bank and their Start-Up Loans Programme, reach out to us here, alternatively, if you’re ready to move forward, use this link to get the ball rolling. The bank’s website provides a wealth of information as well as the success stories, challenges, trials and tribulations of previous loan-holders as they grew their enterprises.
Sourcing funding is just one piece of the money puzzle – having a solid business plan, being able to demonstrate good money management and the ability to use the funds to propel your enterprise forward are a few of the other very vital components and are all things that our courses, workshops or mentors can help you to develop.
If you’d like some financial guidance or advice then you can speak with one of our mentors or tutors who are always happy to give you support.