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Finance companies join forces to help entrepreneurs look beyond the banks
11 March 2012
The emergence of crowdfunding and peer-to-peer finance models are game-changing developments that promise to change the finance landscape forever. Our goal is to raise awareness of these new models to catapult them into entrepreneurs’ consciousness.
A new consortium aims to change the UK financial landscape in response to the growing need for alternative finance.
The Next Generation Finance Consortium (NGFC), launched at Cass Business School last week, will provide entrepreneurs and small businesses with advice and support about new and traditional finance options available to them. It will also liaise with government bodies and other organisations to lobby for support on key issues related to small business finance.
The founding members and steering committee behind the NGFC include: Crowdcube, MarketInvoice, Peoplefund.it, Capital Enterprise, Community Development Finance Association, Angel Capital Group and North London Community Finance.
Access to finance continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing British start-ups today. Official figures released by the Bank of England last month showed that high street banks missed their ‘Project Merlin’ lending target to small firms by £1.1bn.
Speaking at the launch, Sam Gyimah MP said: ‘At the moment 90 per cent of all SME lending is concentrated among the top five banks in the UK. In order to support entrepreneurial growth we need to diversify the provision of credit in the UK.’
Anil Stocker, co-founder of MarketInvoice, stressed that the group is not against banks. ‘We want to see an end to banker bashing. This consortium is about the next generation of finance institutions coming through. Most entrepreneurs in the early stages should not be looking to banks for credit – at this stage they need to be looking to alternative sources of finance.’
John Spindler, CEO of Capital Enterprise, said: ‘This is an exciting time for the business finance industry in the UK. The emergence of so many innovative new models has given entrepreneurs the widest choice of solutions for some time.
‘The emergence of crowdfunding and peer-to-peer finance models are game-changing developments that promise to change the finance landscape forever. Our goal is to raise awareness of these new models to catapult them into entrepreneurs’ consciousness.’
The NGFC offers a free PDF guide to alternative financing, updated monthly, and practical workshops and information events, as well as a business support match-making service. For more information see www.ngfc.org.uk
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