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Sources of funding for your new business

Entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their business can find themselves lost when it comes to funding. Don’t let this dissuade you from starting your dream business though, as there are a more sources available to would-be business owners than ever before. Let’s take a look at some of the options. 

Angel Investors

These are wealthy individuals that can offer funding in exchange for a share of equity in your business. Most of these investors work on their own, whereas some work together to provide a larger sum of funding.

You might be required to give up a portion of your business, but not only would you receive the necessary funding, you’d also get that wealth of knowledge that comes with these investors. They will be able to offer you valuable advice and guidance as they’ll likely have experience in your industry.

Venture Capitalist

These investors can provide your project with the cash flow it needs to grow and in return would expect equity in your business. Venture Capitalists will only offer funding to businesses that have the potential of providing large returns on their initial investment.

Like angel investors, venture capitalists bring a treasure trove of knowledge along with them and can offer expertise to help develop your flourishing business. They can also open doors for you to reach a wider network of future investors and partners.

Something to consider before you decide to work with this type of investor is that you may be required to give up a bigger chunk of your business, due to the substantial amount of financial backing provided.

Crowd Funding

You can fund your businesses this way by raising capital needed through lots of smaller donations, from larger groups of people. There are new crowd funding websites popping up every day, more popular ones like Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Indiegogo all work the same way. Submit your project with a funding goal and time limit and hope that enough backers take enough interest to donate.

Crowdfunding can be a fantastic way to get your business off the ground, with some reaching their funding target in just a matter of days. Even projects that aren’t fully funded can still walk away with a portion of what was donated.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

P2P lending is similar to crowd funding. A project is submitted to a P2P lending site with the funding target and a time is allotted for the goal to be hit.

Unlike crowdfunding, the money is not donated but borrowed, so the capital would need to be paid back to each lender with interest on top. Don’t fret though as you’ll find the interest rates offered to be lower than most banks, with each application being approved or denied instantly and loans reaching borrowers within weeks.

Government Grants

There are hundreds of government grants available in the UK – some cover specifics like helping to fund new premises and equipment, whereas others are grants for general business start-up and growth.

Grants can be quite complex, and each grant will have its own specific requirements for applying, so make sure you do your research beforehand to find one appropriate for your business.

Even though there are hundreds of grants available, there are even more businesses applying for them, so competition is quite stiff and not everyone qualifies. Although, if you can win a grant it’s essentially free money, so you wouldn’t have to pay any investors back or give up equity in your business.

Enter the £5k Pitch at the Northern Business Exhibition

If you’ve got a new and unique business idea you’d like to get off the ground, enter our “£5k Pitch” competition. Taking place during the event at Manchester Central this March, participants will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to a panel of expert judges to be in with a chance of winning £5,000 cash to fund their business, plus thousands of pounds of business products and services to help you get your business off the ground.

Go to the competition page to find out more and to apply.
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