The UK is “on the cusp of a very big break through in business finance”, according to the secretary of state for business, Vince Cable Speaking at the launch of a new guide to small business finance, produced by the British Business Bank, ICAEW and 17 other business and finance organisations, Cable outlined a positive picture for the growing army of UK small business owners and entrepreneurs. Pointing out that difficulties accessing finance have been a historic feature of the British business landscape, he said that things were definitely improving. He explained that while early business start-ups are often funded by what he referred to as “friends, families and fools”, and while at the other end of the scale there’s the stock exchange, there’s a huge gap in the middle. “It’s known as the Valley of Death. At least today there are now some oases appearing in this desert. This new guide will help small businesses seeking finance to find those oases.” The Business Finance Guide – a journey from start-up to growth is targeted at anyone running their own business and highlights the wide array of finance types now available to businesses of all size and stage of development. David Petrie, head of the ICAEW’s Corporate Finance Faculty and co-author of the report, said the crucial issue was timing. “What is crucial for business success is to get the right type of funding at the right time. This guide will help businesses achieve that.” Petrie added that because of the unique nature of the partnership behind the report, it would be sure to reach a large proportion of the UK’s 5 million SMEs. “The guide is supported by 19 partner organisations including ICAEW and the British Business Bank. It’s the first time this has happened and together they represent over 1 million members.” Also speaking at the launch, ICAEW’s chief executive Michael Izza highlighted how quickly the finance market in the UK has shifted. “Even since the Breedon Review in 2012, the market has got more complicated. This guide will help people find their way through the complexity. Really this guide is about building on the work done by the Breedon Review. It recognises that if there is not necessarily a shortage of funds, there is a challenge for those running small businesses in being able to be up to date with the new forms of finance.” The guide, which is available free to download here, covers all the various funding and finance options open to small and growing firms as well as pointing readers in the direction of further advice, help and information.
With thanks to Richard Cree of Economia