Taking the decision to turn your idea into a reality is a truly exciting step. Finding proper support is essential in those early moments so last week I travelled to Business Finance Week to explore all the opportunities that can help kickstart your project. Sponsored by the British Business Bank (BBB) and the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA), the week-long summit convened a variety of experts to shed light on early stage funding. This article outlines some of the most important funding options that any inventor with a new idea should know about.
If you want to know more or have any questions about kickstarting your idea, contact us on 020 7354 5640.
Start-Up Loan by the British Business Bank (BBB)
Start-up loans are backed by the Department for Business and Trade and offer a financial stepping stone to transform your ideas into a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). With loans ranging from £500 to £25,000 at a 6% interest rate, individuals and entrepreneurs get the boost they need, plus invaluable mentoring and support. The aim is clear: fuel the entrepreneurial spirit and enhance business survival rates.
During a chat at Business Finance Week Roderick Beer from UKBAA reaffirms the importance of “market fit”, in other words, a product that’s not only wanted but needed.
And if you’re wondering how to come up with your MVP, Innovate has over 20 years of experience guiding inventors in shaping ideas into successful products. Innovate stands ready to help sculpt such products, ensuring they check the boxes of feasibility, viability, and desirability. Visit our case study page to see who we have helped.
Angel Investment: More Than Just Money
The early stages of business are crucial, and that’s where angel investors can help. They offer more than just funds; they bring wisdom and experience to the table. These “angels” are individuals with capital that invest in potential – not only in promising products but also in the people behind them.
Business Finance Week was abuzz with these experienced investors who were looking for their next new brilliant project to invest in. Having spoken to many during the week I can confirm they are real people eager to guide and invest in visions they believe in. Their approachability and willingness to provide feedback, investment aside, sets them apart from the “Dragons”, they are real “Angels”.
Angel investors tend to get involved in the early phases of a business, perhaps even when it’s just an idea. Find out more about who angel investors are and how they can help you from this handy Forbes guide.
Why the UK is the Perfect Launchpad for Start-Ups
It’s not just about the support systems; it’s also about the incentives. Schemes like the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and EIS offer irresistible tax reliefs to investors, making high-risk investments less daunting.
These schemes are game-changers, offering substantial incentives for investors to back new and growing companies. For eligible startups, this means access to a pool of investors ready to take calculated risks. Under SEIS, investors can receive a 30% tax relief on their investment, and with EIS, they enjoy similar benefits. Plus, if they hold onto their shares for more than three years, they’re exempt from capital gains tax on any profits from those shares.
It’s incentives like these that make the UK an outstanding place to start and scale a business. It was great to hear so many people discuss the benefits of these schemes at Business Finance Week and to see the British entrepreneurial scene continue to thrive.
The differences in schemes can be confusing and it is important to ensure you’re well informed on eligibility; you will want to know that your project aligns with the requirements of those you sign up to. If you want a detailed but simple breakdown of SEIS and EIS, check out Vestd’s explainer.
If you think that you have a new idea that could revolutionise the world, Submit your project to us and let one of our Innovation Coaches guide you.