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Finding startup funding in a crowd - an essential guide

Guest blog: Liz Slee from Start Up Britain

LONDON, MAY 2012: StartUp Britain, a national campaign run by and for entrepreneurs to stimulate start-up growth in the UK, has launched a free week-long schedule of events for the nation’s budding business talent in a bid to help them battle through the minefield of early stage investment.

As the latest Bank of England figures reveal that lending by banks to small and medium sized businesses fell by £5bn at the three months to February, the London-based events seek to guide entrepreneurs through both traditional and alternative avenues towards successful start-up funding and financial planning.

Access to finance has been identified as one of the biggest single barriers to growth, with only a quarter of UK start-ups considering themselves strong at accessing even basic external finance and four out of five financial decision makers have no formal training in financial matters.

StartUp Britain co-founder Emma Jones said:

“When starting out most businesses only need small amounts of capital and crowdfunding sites are playing an increasingly influential role in this and then there are all the incentives for angel investors when it comes to growth capital. We wanted to host events that presented all the options and opportunities to small businesses and brought together entrepreneurs who are at the same stage of funding development.”

A report by small business accounting software firm and a founding sponsor of the StartUp Britain campaign Intuit called the Three Year Glitch suggests the earlier businesses take up good financial habits, the more likely they are to survive the crucial first three years.  A poll of 500 business founders and owners revealed 40% had experienced cash flow problems, 31% said they had found problems getting paid and 23% said they had experienced difficulty managing finances at some point.

“We need more new and emerging businesses to get proper access to the funding they need to grow.  We hope these events will provide some help and inspiration – as well as access to both traditional and alternative financial backing,” Emma added.

At the free events, experts and mentors with a range of financial experience with start-ups and growing businesses will talk about how it all works and answer questions from the floor.

From experts in venture capital to crowd-funding, StartUp Britain has brought together people whose business it is to help provide start-up and growth funding and both accelerate and incubate small companies through mentoring and advice.

Starting on Monday May 14, Entrepreneurs and Finance: The comprehensive week kicks off with a panel of experienced entrepreneurs from The Supper Club talking about their experiences of sourcing finance throughout their careers. That’s followed up with a panel of experts, lead by ICAEW and the UK200 Group who will explore how to create sustainable growth with finance tools that support, rather than hinder growth.

Find out more by visiting www.startupbritain.org

If you're ready to take the next steps in you business development, you should check out printed.com and Royal Mail's Simple Ways to Grow

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