UK’s largest digital community of start-ups sets out to tackle access to finance
Online network UKStartUp is set to launch a programme to help self-start entrepreneurs access the funding they need to launch or grow their businesses.
The community, which has a strong online following of 300,000 start-ups, pre-start individuals and small businesses, says it’s rolling out ‘How to raise finance for your start-up’ from Monday, 27 June to help aspiring entrepreneurs and founders of early-stage businesses navigate the challenges around raising finance.
It has produced a comprehensive four-week online training programme, with the knowledge, insights and useful strategies it says entrepreneurs need to help them successfully raise finance in 2016.
UKStartUp claims that, with an average 50% of business owners stating access to finance as the main barrier of business growth and an estimated 80% of startups failing every year, this might just be exactly what the self-start community in the UK need.
The programme is now open for enrolment, with entrepreneurs who sign-up early benefiting from additional resources to equip them to play the ‘fundraising game.’
In 2013, it was estimated that only 5% of early-stage businesses seeking investment were successful. And UKStartUp says that with more traditional forms of finance such as bank loans less accessible for a startup business with no track record, start-ups have to find more creative ways of addressing this challenge when trying to grow their business.
After running a national survey in November 2015 and polls in the first quarter of 2016, with an overwhelming majority of budding entrepreneurs citing a lack of finance as their main challenge, UKStartUp CEO Dee Dosunmu decided it was time to address this barrier for start-up businesses in the UK.
Having worked with several early-stage businesses to help them grow as well as in the Access to Finance stream of the national Business Growth Service, Dosunmu now spends her time providing fundraising advisory to entrepreneurs determined to raise capital to take their business to the next level.
She says the benefits of undertaking the new programme are:
• Learning all of the options available and being able to decide which avenues of finance are right for your business
• Learning the strategic way of finding and connecting with lenders and investors
• Saving time, energy and money on your fundraising journey
Arranged into four weeks of live training sessions, as well as open office hours so learners on the programme can ask questions, the programme has been designed to make the entire fundraising process clear and build increased confidence in entrepreneurs, with templates and additional resources set up to inspire entrepreneurs to take action in realising their ambitions and achieving real business growth.
Dosunmu said: “This programme is all about how startups and early-stage businesses can understand their options, become investment ready, and get over the hurdle of being seen as too high risk in order to successfully raise funding to take their business to the next level.”