We are always looking at ways to help our customers and recognise that in addition to traditional bank products there are other sources of finance that can support your business.
Sources of business funding
In many cases these options can be used in conjunction with other bank lending products.
Below is a selection of the most common types of alternative finance used by small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the contact details for those organisations that may be able to offer additional support for your business.
The body that represents all the Community Development Finance Institutions in the UK and allows businesses to drill down to their respective geographic regions from the CDFA website to see who operates locally.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) operates a loan support scheme to benefit Small and Medium sized businesses, whereby Banks are able to provide borrowing at preferential rates.
EIB indirectly supports SMEs by working with a wide range of financial intermediaries (banks, guarantee, microfinance institutions, private equity and venture capital funds, etc) that provide loans, micro-loans, guarantees and equity finance to SMEs.
Businesses with less than 250 employees who seek loan funding ranging between £26,000 to a maximum £10m. Terms range from between 2 – 25 years (maximum 10 years for loans £2m+).
How you can benefit:
Finance can be made available to allow purchase of commercial land/property, from which to trade (except farmland); development of property/land already owned, from which to trade; purchase of other tangible assets, such as plant, machinery and equipment or non-tangible assets including permanent increases to working capital.
GRANTfinder is a grants and policy database, detailing in excess of 6,000 funding opportunities. GRANTfinder subscribers include local authorities, the voluntary and charitable sector, universities and colleges, housing associations, the health sector and business support organisations.
The British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA) is the industry body and public policy advocate for the private equity and venture capital industry in the UK. The aim of the BVCA is to aid understanding, clarity and transparency around the activities of its membership, promoting industry to entrepreneurs and investors as well as to Government, the EU, trade unions, international media and the general public.
Business Angels are high net worth individuals who invest on their own, or as part of a syndicate, in high growth businesses. BBAA represent c.100 organisations including the vast majority of business angel networks across the UK, over 20 early stage venture capital funds, as well as professional service providers and advisers.
EIF indirectly supports SMEs by working with a wide range of financial intermediaries (banks, guarantee, microfinance institutions, private equity and venture capital funds, etc) that provide loans, micro-loans, guarantees and equity finance to SMEs.
The fund supports established companies in the £10m-£100m t/o space with strong growth potential. Offering funding of between £2m-£10m in return for an equity stake in the business. Aimed at filling the funding gap for companies whose requirements fall between SME and large company parameters.
The Prince’s Trust targets young people who are not in work, education or training. There are numerous programmes to help young people including funding through the Enterprise Programme and Community Cash awards.
The Business Growth Fund (BGF) is the UK’s most active provider of growth capital to small and mid-sized businesses.
BGF provides long-term equity investment for companies with strong growth potential and in doing so it is expanding the funding options available to ambitious management teams across the UK.
BGF is an independent company with capital of up to £2.5 billion, backed by five of the UK’s main banking groups, including the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. BGF works closely with the banks and its investments often help to unlock bank debt for companies, but BGF is managed completely autonomously with a wholly independent management team.
Established companies, typically with a turnover of £15m-£100m turnover, evidence of a strong track record and demonstrable growth potential. BGF will invest in both private and AIM-listed companies.
BGF investments are used to fund a wide variety of business plans from simply increasing working capital to making a strategic acquisition, from new capex to increase capacity to a step change in sales and marketing, from an export drive to new product development. Equity release opportunities can also be considered.
How you can benefit:
BGF’s team of over 70 investors, operate from eight regional offices in the UK. They make initial investments of between £2m and £10m and then actively look to provide additional funding to support further growth. Long term investment is typically provided in the form of equity in return for a minority equity stake.
BGF also provide practical and strategic support directly through the investment team and wider BGF infrastructure, through non-executive involvement at board level, and through access to our broader networks.
The Forum of Private Business is a proactive, not-for-profit organisation and can assist with every aspect of running a business, from HR and finance to business development. It provides cost-effective, tailored solutions to support, protect and reassure members throughout the business lifecycle.
ICAEW is a leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports over 140,000 chartered accountants worldwide. They provide qualifications and professional development, share their knowledge, insight and technical expertise, and protect the quality and integrity of the accountancy and finance profession.
The ICAEW provides its members with knowledge and guidance based on the highest ethical and technical standards, shaping opinion, understanding and delivery to ensure the highest standards in business and in the public interest.
How you can benefit:
Joining ICAEW allows you to become part of a community of leading global accountancy professionals. When you become a member, you will be awarded the highly-respected ACA designation, which is recognised globally. You will also gain access to world-leading information resources, technical guidance, advisory services and local member networks.
The Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA) formerly known as the FDA, is a UK-based trade association representing an industry with 40 years experience of supplying much needed liquidity to UK businesses. Our Members provide Factoring, Invoice Discounting and Asset Based Lending. The ABFA’s Membership comprises 49 members, representing about 95% of the UK and Irish market.
The Institute of Directors (IoD) is Europe’s largest membership organisation for business leaders, currently supporting around 43,000 members. IoD members have access to tailored research and bespoke business advice on a wide range of issues.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is the UK’s largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms. The FSB lobbying arm – led by the Westminster Press and Parliamentary office – applies pressure on MPs, Government and Whitehall.
CIMA is the world’s largest and leading professional body of management accountants. CIMA is committed to upholding the highest ethical and professional standards and to maintaining public confidence in management accounting.
The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) mission is to help create and sustain the conditions in which businesses in the United Kingdom can compete and prosper for the benefit of all. The CBI acts as the premier lobbying organisation for UK business on national and international issues.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national body for a powerful and influential network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce across the UK; a network that directly serves not only its member businesses but the wider business community.
EAMA represents 10 Trade Associations and is an ‘umbrella’ organisation of like-minded associations. EAMA acts in concert on certain common lobbying issues and other representational activities. EAMA represent 1400 SME companies, with over 60,000 employees and a combined turnover of over £7 billion.
The Quoted Companies Alliance (QCA) represents small and mid-cap quoted companies outside the FTSE 350 including those on AIM and PLUS Markets. They exist to ensure that the regulatory burden does not fall disproportionately on the sector and to help improve investment in small and mid-cap quoted companies.
ICAS is a professional body for around 19,000 business men and women who work in the UK and in more than 100 countries around the world. Their members have all achieved the internationally recognised and respected CA qualification (Chartered Accountant).
How you can benefit:
ICAS supports its members with technical advice, regulation and compliance support, career development tools, a free and comprehensive Information Service, member offers and discounts, courses, qualifications, events and accountancy news. Members can share information and organise events through ICAS' online community.