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Tech City: First funding event for businesses comes to UK

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:55 08 September 2015

Arina

Arina

Archant

Demystifying the process of growing companies securing funding from investors and lenders is the aim of the first event of its kind in the UK.

The Business Funding Show is coming to London next year, connecting major players in the SME (small to medium size enterprises) sector and finance providers.

It will host more than 120 exhibitors spread across three areas: lending, investment, and growth support.

Event director, Arina Osiannaya, said: “On one hand you have very strong demand from businesses looking for funding to scale, and on the other side, we have so many different financial options for businesses. Every month new financial providers come into the market.

“It really is too confusing. You have all the necessary elements to solve the problem of funding for businesses yet it’s still a big problem for the UK economy.”

She said lack of knowledge and understanding were main inhibitors for SMEs to approach external funding sources – even at a time when the line between businesses and providers was becoming blurred.”

SMEs represent the backbone of the UK economy yet, according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skill’s Small Business Survey 2015, only 15 per cent of SMEs are familiar with multiple finance sources and specific providers.

This highlights an alarming lack of engagement from the SME sector when it comes to securing the best finance options to grow their business, Arina explained.

She said: “I honestly think we cannot afford to ignore the remaining 85 per cent of businesses.

“Providers need to be more open about who they are dealing with, while entrepreneurs need to be more resilient – being rejected doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not investable; however it takes time and efforts to secure the right funder.”

She added the profile of businesses in search of funding was very diverse, with some seeking up to £300,000 to adjust to rapid growth.

“This event has so much appeal because it engages the entire spectrum of finance providers and dissolves the traditional walls that have always separated the funders from the fund seekers”, she said.

Celebrated entrepreneurs and investors such as Richard Reed (Innocent), Lord Bilimoria (Cobra Beer) and David Buttress (JustEat) will be present to offer guidance.

The six strongest businesses selected from all those who apply also have the opportunity to pitch for funding at Live Investment Challenge, run by Angels Den.

Arina said: “Knowing that nothing speaks better than experience, we also want our attendees to learn from those who were in their shoes a while ago, but managed to build fortunes through putting a lot of effort and hard work in. All of those leaders also managed to secure funders at one stage.”

More than 4,000 businesses have already registered their interest in attending the the Business Funding Show, with that number set to rise by another 1,000.

The event takes place in Old Billingsgate on February 2 and 3 2016.

Early bird free tickets available until August 31. For more, visit businessfundingshow.co.uk.

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