Amber Digital Consultancy Ltd
1 Maunsel Street London SW1P 2QL
30th March 2012
UCA Work Foundation Discussion Group
Where’s the Money?
What do creative businesses need to do to become finance ready?
Derek Wyatt & Ian Elwick
Prince of Wales Trust
Make it happen book
The Prince’s Trust has published its first business start-up guide, "Make it Happen: The Prince’s Trust Guide to Starting your own Business". The book captures some of The Trust’s 27 year experience of supporting young people to start their own businesses. It is a practical and accessible guide that provides advice on everything from defining your business idea to writing a business plan.
www.philanthropyuk.org & www.gcu.ac.uk/grameencaledonianpartnership/grameenscotland
Grameen Bank founder and Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus has brought his microcredit concept to the UK to address some of the most entrenched poverty here, beginning in Glasgow and the West of Scotland, believing "if it works there it can work anywhere" .
The Grameen Scotland Foundation, aims to raise £1m to fund a pilot branch of the bank that will make loans of up to £1000 to borrowers at a rate of 19.5% APR over 12 months to help people set up or expand a small business. Borrowers will also receive financial and business advice.
The foundation has reportedly already raised £100,000 and has serious pledges of further significant sums.Prof Yunus said: “By providing small loans on suitable terms, we have shown even the poorest of the poor can bring about their own social and economic advancement.
"Scotland is a proud and enterprising country – but there are pockets of shocking poverty. If, by using microcredit, we can help the poorest people get off welfare and realise their potential as human beings then we must make the opportunity and we must make it now.”
The first branch will focus on helping people in Glasgow, North Ayrshire, West Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde – four of Scotland’s poorest communities. As clients repay their micro-loans, the funds will be recycled into new loans.
Glasgow Caledonian University assistant vice-principal Colin McCallum, who is helping to set up the Foundation and assess its impact, says the bank is being piloted in Glasgow as indicators of poverty such as welfare dependency, long-term unemployment and drug addiction are always worse there than in other cities in the UK. "However, this is not a Scottish project, it is a pilot for the UK and I think once we have evidence that it is successful it will spread like wildfire across Europe."
McCallum believes the time is right for such a movement in the UK. "With everything that has gone on in the economy in the last few years, people are saying we have to do something. There is now a moral pressure to help society. Yunus believes business people in particular like the idea of kickstarting a social business as it is a way of using skills, fulfilling a social need and developing a model that is sustainable."
Once the bank has raised £1m it will start lending money. It aims to to raise a further £2m over the next four years. Within five years it plans to have made 4,500 loans to 1,500 borrowers, as some will get several loans as they expand their business. "These targets are our break-even point when the repayment of these loans makes the bank self-sustaining," explains McCallum.
The Grameen Bank began In India in the late 1970s to provide microcredit to poor people, mainly women, in rural villages in Bangladesh to start their own enterprises. It now has 20m borrowers worldwide and has lent $20.5bn (£13bn). The network has spread to the West, including the USA, where it has loaned $24m (£15.3m) to over 8,000 borrowers with a 99% repayment rate.
Grameen Bank in India and Yunus have in recent years been the target of what many believe are politically motivated attacks that has led to Yunus having to step away from the bank. The issue that involves the Indian Government has yet to be resolved. The efficacy of the micro-credit concept has seperately been challenged because of the reported use of coercion, peer pressure and physical harassment as loan repayment practices in some specific microfinance institutions. Commercialisation of microcredit prompted Yunus to state that he “never imagined that one day microcredit would give rise to its own breed of loan sharks".
Find out more at the website of the Grameen Scotland Foundation.
The Digital Research & Development Fund for Arts and Culture is a partnership between the Arts Council England, Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and NESTA to support arts and cultural organisations across England who want to work with digital technologies to:
expand their audience reach and engagement and/or
explore new business models
The fund received 494 applications, of which 393 (seeking over £24 million in total) were judged eligible by the funding partners. This suggests that there is a high demand for digital R&D in the arts and cultural sector.
Each of the projects were selected because they will produce research and data that other arts and cultural organisations will value highly and, possibly, develop new products/services that can be used by other organisations. A key element of the fund is the partnerships between arts and cultural organisations, technology providers and researchers
The successful projects include:
Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) working with Videojuicer and The Arts Collective
Exhibition Road Cultural Group working with the Dickens Museum and Seren Partners
Imperial War Museum with Knowledge Integration and University College London
London Symphony Orchestra with Aurora Orchestra and Kodime
New Art Exchange with Artfinder
Punchdrunk with MIT Media Lab
The Sage Gateshead plus Manchester Camerata, Aurora, Berwick Maltings, Alnwick Playhouse and Durham Gala with Videojuicer and Aframe
Site Gallery working with Lighthouse and Caper
“Seedcamp is an early stage mentoring and investment program that engages startups through our monthly Seedcamp Events, where entrepreneurs present their companies, network, receive mentoring, and compete for investment by Seedcamp.
Yearly, we invest in about 20 companies this way. Our standard investment is 50,000 Euros in return for an 8-10 percent stake in the business. We bring companies to the next level through hands-on support, our network of awesome mentors, and partnership.
If you want to find out more about the investment process, our mentors, or the current Seedcamp companies, please have a look around. You can always reach us via Twitter, Facebook, or the blog.”
London Business Angels www.lbangels.co.uk
London Business Angels (LBA) is one of Europe's leading Angel Investment Networks. We connect innovating fast growth technology companies to equity finance through our membership of experienced angel investors. Operating since the early 1980s, LBA has the longest track record in the business.
Through carefully selecting only the most innovative companies to present to our investors, we achieve significant results: Since 2000 LBA has helped over 200 companies successfully raise over £50 million. Over the last 3 years nearly 40% of the companies selected to pitch to LBA's investors have secured funding, despite an uncertain economic climate.
Whether you are an existing investor, would-be investor, or an entrepreneur looking for investment to grow your business, find out how working with us can help you achieve success.
TechHub is the physical hub for the technology start-up community.
It's launching first in London in the Shoreditch/Old St area and will consist of desk spaces, co-working space, meeting rooms and an event space. London is the first space, but will be swiftly followed by others in the TechHub network around the world, so wherever you are, you can connect @TechHub.
While it will be a place for tech entrepreneurs to touch down, work, plug their laptops in and use the fast wifi, what really differentiates it is the mostly product-oriented tech community. We're focused predominantly on product-oriented tech companies as there are other spaces already catering for agencies, consultants and media companies.
We'll have members from London, around the UK, Europe, the Middle East, India, China, the US and beyond and will be helping to facilitate networking, collaboration, knowledge-sharing via events, introductions and our website - plus that delightful 'just bumped into someone' factor.
If you’re a small business owner or thinking of starting a business, money is probably your biggest concern. You may be wondering if there is any funding available for start-ups.
The simple answers is yes, but getting your hands on it is a complicated and rather stressful process. There are countless schemes, each with their own set of criteria, which you can apply for when you're on the verge of starting.
Business money is out there to be claimed, yet every year we receive stories of piles of cash sitting in accounts and not being invested.
It’s not because you don’t need the cash, but it’s because navigating through the grants jungle can have you wishing you still had your good job back.
Types of support
All publicly funded schemes are designed to encourage new and growing businesses, to bring wealth and ultimately create jobs.
To help achieve this the government makes available a portion of taxpayers' money to help and encourage enterprise.
This cash gets distributed through a variety of ministries, departments, agencies and quangos on a national and local basis. The good news is that most businesses are eligible at any one time to apply for a number of different business start-up grants and support schemes which are distributed in a wide variety of forms.
Business start-up grants
This is a cash award, which is usually given out for activities such as training, employment, export development, recruitment or capital investment projects. With a direct grant most schemes usually require the company involved to put up around 50% of the cost.
Under this type of scheme cash funding is offered for a project with the intention that the sums are paid out of future revenues. However, if the project fails, the grant is written off.
A soft loan is a special type of grant where the terms and conditions of repayment are more generous (or softer) than they would be under normal financial circumstances. So, for example, the interest rates may be less, or there may be no interest to pay at all, and the repayment terms could also be for a longer period.
With equity finance a capital sum is injected into the business and the provider of the funds takes an equity share of the enterprise and (hopefully) when the value of the firm increases the stake can then be returned. However, unlike venture capitalists, the expectations and requirements of the providers of public funds are usually less demanding.
Free or subsidised consultancy
Start-ups can often find themselves in the situation where they are lacking a particular set of skills and there are some specially run schemes which offer to provide these either for free or at subsidised rates.
Access to resources
As with a lack of skills, it can be the case that small firms do not posses the physical resources or facilities they need in order to develop particular projects. In the same way there are a number of initiatives that can help overcome these concerns by providing access to publicly owned facilities.
Technology and Best Practice transfer
The transfer of technological advances and new best practice initiatives can often take a long time filtering down to smaller businesses. The government has set up schemes, which aim to overcome this through business support networks.
Shared cost contract
When it comes to research and development, the costs involved can prevent small firms from taking part. However, by sharing the costs with other businesses, and then sharing the expertise, this problem can be avoided.
Business Link: www.businesslinks & www.smallbusinesses.co.uk
Grants: the basics
How to apply for a government grant
Before you apply for a grant you should make sure that you meet the conditions of the scheme. Additionally, you should ensure that you:
· are ready to put up some of your own money
· need the money for a specific purpose
· don't start the project before you get an agreement in principle of funding
Before applying for a grant, you can contact the Business Link helpline to make sure the scheme is appropriate for your circumstances and location. You could also consider contacting a private business adviser for help and advice.
Website Grant Sources in the UK
Business Link is a UK Government site that provides information on grants to help your business. They also have a page dedicated to finance and grants.
Business Link Directory Page
The Business Link Directory page list all the local and regional Business Link Services in England. They also have links to those in Wales and the Scottish regions. To find your nearest operator on their website, either search by your postcode, browse the list that is available, or call 0845 600 9 006 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0845 600 9 006 end_of_the_skype_highlighting (minicom 0845 606 2666 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0845 606 2666 end_of_the_skype_highlighting) - you
will be connected directly to your nearest Business Link.
Business Gateway offers start up information, support and advice to people who are interested in running their own business. Their website also has a finance and grants section.
The Design Trust
The Design Trust, a registered charity, promotes the excellence of British design and helps designers with business training after they leave college. The Design Trust Business Start-up guide provides links to organisations who can help designers considering starting their own business.
Amber Digital Consultancy Ltd.
Registered in England No. 07212968
Registered Office: Summit House 170 Finchley Road London NW3 6BP