How do I access alternative finance?

We look at your options to new sources of finance

As banks look to bolster their balance sheets following the financial crisis, it’s reported that 38 percent of businesses feel they’re being held back by a lack of access to finance.

This number almost doubles among organisations with an annual turnover of more than £1.1 million. It’s thought that SMEs could be worth an additional £20 billion to the UK economy by 2020 – but only if they can have the finance they need to grow.

While UK banks are the source of nearly 80 percent of all credit, businesses are increasingly looking to alternative finance options to fund their growth. Indeed, the CBI suggests “a new normal” has emerged, where the traditional forms of finance, such as loans and overdrafts, are no longer the preferred option.

New types of funding, familiar requirements

In recent years, new sources of finance, such as crowdfunding, have shaken up the world of business finance by providing an alternative capital lifeline to start-ups and existing businesses looking to expand.

However, the same considerations apply as with traditional finance. You still need to define exactly what you need the funds for (capex, working capital or investment expenditure, for example) and the funder will still want to see a strong, detailed business plan and financial model.

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