Funding

Starting a business isn’t easy. It requires a lot of time and energy – as well as some form of financial backing. There are a number of routes of funding available, though, ranging from governmental grants to investment from business angels. This piece will give you an idea of what is available.

Grants

There is a huge emphasis on supporting youngsters’ business dreams and setting up. This is the brainchild behind the Welsh Government’s Young Entrepreneur’s Bursary. It’s available for those aged between 16-24 and provides viable ideas with a £6,000 taxable sum. Qualifying businesses receive it over a four month period and get regular business advice.

Another worthy grant is the Digital Development Fund. It was set up by the Welsh Government to encourage digital-led economic growth and provides a maximum of £50,000 in funding. Qualifying businesses will be ambitious and utilise the breadth of digital devices, platforms and channels.

There are a few grants available from the EU as well. Take, for example, the European Social Fund. Anyone who is at a disadvantage in their community is able to claim it. They could be looking to set up a business but may not have the skills to do so, which this grant can help with. It’s also noted that it’s been used to get people back into work, such as recent offenders.

Crowdfunding

This is the practice of raising monetary contributions from a group of people. It’s become a useful tactic for getting a project up and running in the business world. And a number of websites have been created it over the years to bring it into the masses.

One of the most popular and accessible crowdfunding platforms is Kickstarter, which allows anyone with access to the internet to upload their idea(s). If it’s viable, those interested can invest and make it possible. If not, it’s ignored. It’s as simple as that. However, there’s a premium: if a project is successful, Kickstarter applies a 5 per cent fee to the funds raised.

Business angels

Another way of raising funds to set up or progress a business is by seeking the help of a business angels. A business angel is an affluent person within a particular niche or community who regularly invests in businesses. Usually, they would expect an ownership equity in return. However, some angels may invest in a business as part of a convertible debt plan.

Choosing to involve a business angel in a business/project is seen as positive as well as negative. In one sense, they can bring a wealth of experience and contacts to a deal, but in other instances they may choose to take a laid back approach but still expect a large equity.

Finding an angel can be a case of turning up a networking event, you reaching out to them or they contacting you. But websites such as Angels Den seek to make this process easier. The latter is available for businesses looking for up to £50,000 and has a proven track record. To use the service, all you have to do is register and create a pitch and post it online afterwards.

Image credit: Howard Lake/Flickr