Set your sights on equity investment

18 September 2018

SEMLEP’s Growth Hub, Velocity, has announced two, new programmes this autumn for small businesses that need money to deliver their growth plans.

Based on work with The Scale Up Institute and the British Business Bank over the last 12 months to understand the factors that drive and deter growth, the new finance programmes, one for start-ups and one for established businesses, aim to get business leaders to ‘think like an investor’ to increase their chances of success.

James Stancombe, Velocity Growth Hub’s finance adviser has worked with British Business Bank and professional advisers locally since the launch of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund in August 2017 to increase business awareness of growth funding opportunities.

James Stancombe said: “It was clear from the series of awareness workshops staged by the growth hub during this time that, while serial entrepreneurs tend to know what they require and their experience and track record makes them more attractive to funders, there are many businesses with growth potential that have been unable to borrow or to raise equity or which are trying to achieve their ambitions in the face of skills, markets, leadership and finance obstacles.

“Those that had tried and failed to raise funding were often unaware of the ins and outs of the process, the timescales and time-commitments required, and the implications for their business. Many were unaware of the funders’ expectations or how to send them the right signals.

“Speaking directly to investors, they report that propositions received from entrepreneurs often contained great ideas, but weren’t convincing in their ability to deliver or backed by proven management teams with the capability to scale rapidly.”

To address the gaps in knowledge and preparation, and expectations, the new business finance series from Velocity Growth Hub, titled ‘Set your sights on equity finance’ dissects the process and equips business owners with the knowledge and resources to produce and present a compelling case for funding.

The two programmes each consist of four workshops of three hours duration delivered over the course of a month by subject experts, with funders and entrepreneurs who have raised finance on hand to help you to develop your proposition.

There will be a strong emphasis on understanding the funder’s perspective, how they assess opportunities, the terms that result from the risks identified and the implications for the business. By thinking like an investor, business owners are more likely to send the right signals and get the right results.

The first of the four-week workshop programme is for high growth start businesses and kicks off on Tuesday, 16 October at the NatWest Accelerator Hub in Milton Keynes. The second programme – for businesses that have been trading for longer than two years – starts on Tuesday, 6 November at Grant Thornton in Milton Keynes.

For more information or to book a place, visit

or call 01234 436123.

Meanwhile, businesses that are facing obstacles to growth or which need help to develop the strategies and plans required to convincingly deliver their business proposition can enrol on Velocity’s existing, two-day ‘Modelling Success for your Business’ masterclass, which is being delivered around the South East Midlands this autumn. See for more details.