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Live Forum Q&A – Getting Funded

Discussion in 'Money, Accounts & Finance' started by Lace, May 13, 2013.

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  1. Lace

    Lace Retired Moderator

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    On Wednesday, 29 May at exactly 12pm – we are opening this discussion thread for a Live Forum Q&A on Getting Funded. If you are familiar with Twitter Q&As, this works the same – only better using and our community forum :)

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    Getting external funding has been a growing topic with questions such as where to borrow as a startup and reviews on funding sources. We’re running this activity as part of the Business in You campaign, a partnership between private enterprise and Government to highlight support for start-ups and growing businesses.

    Prizes to be given away!

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    Last March, we gave away Amazon vouchers to a couple of lucky participants at the end of the session. On this Q&A, we will be giving away exclusive TWF mugs to three lucky members! To get the chance to win, simply participate in the discussion by asking a question to our expert panelists or sharing your own advice on the topic.

    A few guidelines:

    - Only related questions will be allowed on this thread
    - Community members are free to take on answers and share relevant experience
    - To keep our Q&A organized, kindly use the reply button to quote the content you are responding to
    - Kindly follow proper forum decorum. Please read our forum terms of use
    - Questions can be submitted ahead of the session, please get in touch with Lace via PM

    Our expert panelists (in alphabetical order)

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    Anthony Trollope – Managing Director, The Wholesale Forums
    Anthony started trading on eBay with £250 and turned to reinvesting to increase his buying power. He recognizes the fact that businesses can only continue like this for some time and now relies on private investors and angels, plus secured finance from banks.

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    Emma Jones – Founder, Enterprise Nation
    Emma launched Enterprise Nation in 2006 armed with her experience of starting, growing and selling a business from a home. The company has since expanded to become a small business community of over 75,000 people who access content, events and funding; online, in print and in person.

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    James Day – Ingenious Britain
    James Day is the Social Media Manager at Ingenious Britain, the small business campaign dedicated to providing small businesses of all descriptions the tools, advice and support they need to be the best they can be. He is also a contributor to our community blog where he recently wrote about Alternative Funding Options for Small Businesses.

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    Paul Brown - Owner, Anthony & Brown Clothing
    Paul has a financial background working within the retail industry for several years, he began self-employment in July 2010 with a budget of £1000 trading on eBay, he went full time by December 2010. Using his contacts from his days working in the retail industry he began developing his own menswear brand Anthony & Brown in September 2011 and successfully received finance for one of his slightly-risky ventures.

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    Phil Geraghty - Managing Director at People Fund It & Crowdfunder.co.uk
    Phil is funding projects that change the world through PeopleFund.It and Crowdfunder.co.uk. He works with social enterprises and individuals to raise much needed funds and awareness for great ideas to help communities.

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    Robin Jones – Account Manager at iwoca
    Rob has been selling on eBay for over 10 years is the account manager at iwoca, a limited London based startup that provides instant working capital to commercial eBay sellers.

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    Sam White - Policy Advisor in the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS)

    Sam is responsible for BIS’s policies and programmes promoting business angel investment in small and medium sized firms. These include promoting and raising awareness of tax relief schemes as well as leading on policy development of equity investment incentives for individuals.



    See you all here on 29 May, 12PM-1PM and please help us spread the word! :)

    Attached Files:

  2. Erik

    Erik

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    Hi! Everyone, welcome to our Live Forum Q&A. Thanks for joining us! Thread is now open for your questions. Don’t forget to stick around to find out if you won 1 of 3 TWF mugs we are giving away at the end of the session :)

    Today we have our expert panelists to answer your questions about Getting Funded. Please welcome Anthony, Emma, James, Paul, Phil, Rob, and Sam.

    To kick start this discussion, here's the first Q for all our panelists: Do you believe it is easier now for businesses to get external funding than before? What are the breakthroughs or existing roadblocks?
  3. Rob Jones

    Rob Jones

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    We certainly think so. We have made funding available to online sellers in a quick and convenient way.
    Erik and Lace like this.
  4. James Day

    James Day

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    Hi guys, welcome to the Q&A! I'm James, the social media manager at Ingenious Britain, and I'm excited about taking all of your questions on funding small businesses.

    I think it's easier in a sense that there are loads of options out there - the government have some great schemes out there, and the emergence of things like crowdfunding are set to revolutionise the funding environment - the problem is choosing which one is most appropriate for your business.

    Breakthroughs? Peer-to-peer lending on a digital scale, plus invoice trading, which helps small businesses who have a history of late payments or fluctuating cash flow.
    Lace likes this.
  5. Dave

    Dave

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    I don`t know if it is easier but there are certainly a lot more companies to contact.
    Years ago it was only the banks that were available.
    Lace likes this.
  6. paulbrown

    paulbrown

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    I think its no harder to obtain finance than it use to be if you have 3 years or more trading accounts and a professional looking business plan going forward. The money is there to lend, its just I think not all businesses are in a position where they would be low risk for the banks to lend to.
    Erik likes this.
  7. Rob Jones

    Rob Jones

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    I hear quite often that the traditional lenders sometimes take many weeks to make a decision whereas ourselves (iwoca) and other lenders in our niche now tailor business finance for online sellers looking to grow their business
  8. Lace

    Lace Retired Moderator

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    Companies like iwoca certainly make funding more accessible, especially for online sellers. One problem is spreading awareness and small business campaigns make alternative sources of funding known :)
  9. James Day

    James Day

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    I think the key is to not believe that banks and Angel Investors are the be-all-and-end-all of small business finance, because they're not. Don't rule them out, but always consider your options and keep an open mind for the new developments which are coming out at a rate of knots.

    We're crowdfunding ourselves, actually - went live yesterday - and for a business with a strong networking base, that was more viable than approaching a bank.
    Lace likes this.
  10. Sam White

    Sam White

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    Hi Guys,

    I'm Sam, am Policy Advisor at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. We in Government certainly recognise the difficulties in getting funding post credit crunch and have put in place a number of schemes to help businesses get the finance they need.
    Lace likes this.
  11. Erik

    Erik

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  12. Rob Jones

    Rob Jones

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    We are very active in the eCommerce environment so a number of sellers will know us from the UK online Seller meetups!
  13. paulbrown

    paulbrown

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    Do you think its a little confusing for a business having so many different ways of obtaining finance? Or do you think this is just a positive thing?
  14. Dave

    Dave

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    Hi Rob,
    I looked at your company a few months ago but although your site is bright and modern, I found it looked too good to be true.
    I have in business for approx 30 years, maybe this makes me more cautious than most.
  15. Lace

    Lace Retired Moderator

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    I'd add to this, is it a good strategy for a business to try and apply for all different schemes, when approved - pick one they think it's best?
  16. paulbrown

    paulbrown

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    I received finance for my project using a government lending scheme through my bank, it was a relatively large amount considering I had no property to use as insurance against the loan.
  17. Emma Jones

    Emma Jones

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    Hi!

    Happy to be here and answer questions on finding funds. In terms of whether it's easier to find funds, I would say first off think carefully about whether you really need the money, and how much, and this will influence where you then look!

    In January, I released a free eBook on '50 ways to find funding for your business' which covers, unsurprisingly, 50 places to look! It includes the banks, crowdfunding, StartUp Loans (which have now been extended to people aged 18 to 30), Angels, entering corporate accelerators and CDFIs (Community Development Finance) - the eBook is here enterprisenation.com/shop/50waystofindfundingforyourbusiness

    As the banks have scaled back, a host of innovative companies and organisations have moved in to fill the funding gap.

    Emma
  18. James Day

    James Day

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    We actually hosted a live Tweetchat with Start-up Loans and James Caan, which give a lot of useful information about the scheme, how to apply, and advice. Available here: bit.ly/18R4875

    I think the main problem was the age limit; but Lord Young has recently announced that they're now scrapping this, and anyone can apply. Which is good news in some aspects, but I suppose encourages a lot of competition.
    Erik likes this.
  19. Oliver

    Oliver

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    The more choice the better, it means business owners can have more power over picking and choosing the best rates/timescale to suit their business. Should be a positive thing!
    James Day likes this.
  20. Sam White

    Sam White

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    I agree with James. It is certainly important for businesses to consider the finance which is right for them which may well be beyond banks. A good starting point could be the Business Finance For You website businessfinanceforyou.co.uk/
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