To celebrate Great British Manufacturing, Charlie Coward, Managing Director at Hillbrush tells us how maintaining a family-run ethos has led to their continued success as they…
I listened in to each of the three webinars we hosted on Funding for SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) in the preceding two weeks and enjoyed all three and more generally we have had positive feedback regarding the events and the factsheets we produced for the events.
We had approaching 100 people listen to the webinars live.
The recordings for each can be found here:
- Funding for SMEs in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
- Funding for SMEs in Dorset
- Funding for SMEs in Heart of South West (i.e., Devon and part of Somerset)
Key points arising (for me at least):
- A reminder that the South West lags behind other areas of the UK as regards equity funding into SMEs but that recent developments (including the announcement of the £200m South West Fund) are seeking to address this imbalance and we do have a number of private sector initiatives already looking to improve access to Business Angel and retail equity investment
- There are plenty of alternatives to the high street banks in terms of debt finance – so the suggestion from a number of our panellists across the 3 webinars was not to give up if your bank turns you down
- There are a surprising number of grant schemes open currently. These range from nationwide schemes to those open for applications from a tightly defined geographic area (the result in some cases of where the funds were sourced from, I believe). See below for links to factsheets on which my colleagues and I have done our best to summarise the grant, and other, funding potentially available. (As I know my colleague has commented on in a recent piece on funding, it may be a good idea to collate information on specific project(s) you would ideally like grant funding for – see link)
- In addition to funding there are several business support schemes open that can provide you, for example, with assistance in bid writing and other aspects of assistance with accessing finance. We have not explicitly covered these on our factsheets but would suggest you speak to your local Growth Hub to ascertain what support they may be able to provide and/ or signpost you to. You could also listen to the webinars as I am reasonably sure each of them touched on this area
The “Finance in…” factsheets can be found at the links below. I should stress that whilst we will over the coming months strive to update them regularly the funding landscape (specifically grant funding) changes relatively quickly so I would suggest you always look for the source material to ensure a scheme is open etc before investing time on an application.
You can of course contact the people named on the factsheet if you have any specific queries – I and/or my colleagues will do our best to assist.
I would like to finish this blog by saying thank you to people who made the webinars happen:
Firstly, to those who joined my colleagues on the webinars and shared their insights:
- Lloyd Brina and Paul Jones from British Business Bank
- Alex Craven from Falmouth Launchpad
- John Acornley (CIOS) and Finn Morgan (Dorset) from the LEPs
- Ben Voysey from SetSquared
- Rob Perks from Inspire Biz
- Gordon Fong from E-Mango
- Kevin Brooks from BrooksKebby Ltd
And, I would like to thank my colleagues Devon and Jade for pulling together the finance in factsheets (i.e for turning the notes we sent them into beautifully created documents).
Finally, a big thank you (and sad farewell) to Georgia who has been the person responsible for a lot of our webinars over the past 18 months.