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Business Finance Update – from an Exhibition!

July 28, 2014
I am delighted to be able to share this Business Finance Network June Update with you.
I met Andrew at the Devon Business Expo at the beginning of June.  They say it pays to stay in touch and the wealth of information that is here certainly proves the point!
Here’s the update from Andrew!
 
A a core function of the Business Finance Network is to facilitate client referrals so that SMEs get the best chance of speedy access to finance.  So it is interesting to see that, nationally, Santander have teamed up with Funding Circle to enable businesses to try crowdfunding where they are ineligible for bank loans.  A similar arrangement exists between all the main banks and the Community Development Finance Association which passes contacts to bodies such as the Fredericks Foundation and South West Investment Group.
Crowdfunder: if anyone still doubts the power of crowdfunding, Newquay based Crowdfunder has raised £650k through Exeter based Crowdcube, including the fastest ever £230k in the first 15 minutes.
Equity investment: nevertheless, there remains a significant gap in growth funds.  GAIN (Growth Acceleration and Investment Network) at Plymouth University is attempting to address this with an event next Friday when a dozen businesses will have the opportunity to pitch to potential private investors. Hopefully this will be the first of many such occasions.
Investment in shares by business angels can be an attractive option for high growth companies, where additional funds could accelerate profitable expansion.  Business angel networks (such ashttp://www.swain.co.uk and others) put growing companies in touch with such business angel investors.  Over the past month, I have been contacted by four companies seeking between £750k-£1.5m and it has been a struggle to identify local sources on this scale available in the short term, despite the potential employment benefits.  More concerted action is urgently needed in this sphere.
That’s my perspective but here’s a link to, perhaps, a London based perspective which should stir you up, especially if you work in business support!
Regional Growth Fund 6: the latest round in this source of grants has just been launched.  Wholly private applications of a minimum of £1m are invited by 30 September.
Hinkley Programme: through the good work of Somerset Chamber of Commerce and many others, the Government has just announced a programme of support related to building the new Hinkley nuclear power station which includes £150k to facilitate supply chain development and a comprehensive skills programme, plus inputs from the Manufacturing Advisory Service and Homes and Communities Agency.
Web sites:
–        http://www.gaininbusiness.com this beta site is being thoroughly tested, currently with 350 SMEs registered as users, and the content is being built by the users, as well as Plymouth University.  If you haven’t already done so, please try it out and encourage all your contacts to do likewise.  As a digital exchange, it has the potential to be  a really powerful, creative and sustainable source of business information and advice, harnessing the best of national resources with local intelligence.
Other relevant sites with news drawn to my attention include:
–        http://www.asc.co.uk
–        http://www.grantedltd.co.uk
Happy reading!
Regards,
Andrew
 
 For more details feel free to contact 
 
Andrew Lightfoot
Business Finance Network
South West Investment Group
07442011583
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