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  • Mike Duff, Senior Partner

​ ​​ ​Frustrated with Funding?


Based upon a true story……

Dave had a fantastic idea for a business, he had done his homework, he had put together a great business plan, he even had some potential customers lined up and he was bubbling over with excitement and enthusiasm. But there was one problem; he needed some funds to get started. Dave spoke to his Bank Manager but at best they said they would lend him half of what he needed, although he still did not have enough security to cover it. He went to some unsecured lenders but they either wanted him to have a longer trading history or would be charging astronomical interest rates. He had heard great things about alternative finance so investigated peer to peer lending but everyone he spoke to wanted at least two years accounts so that was no good either. Dave then looked at Crowdfunding, but this would involve putting together promotional information, videos and running fundraising campaigns, all of which seemed a lot to get your head around, not to mention expensive and with no guarantee of success.

Dave then had a brain-wave; perhaps he could use asset finance as a lot of the funds that were needed were for capital purchases and stock? Another dead-end, the assets were too “soft” whatever that means! He had already discussed the opportunity with friends and family to no avail and his wife had also told him that she did not want him taking out anymore credit cards. How about a grant from one of his local business support organisations? There was some money available to help him with his website and possibly some training costs, but this wasn’t what he really needed. Off the back of watching the latest episode of Dragon’s Den, a friend suggested he sought out a venture capitalist. That sounded interesting, as he was not too precious about his business that he would not be prepared to give up a share, especially if he also gained some expert Industry help. However, the more he investigated it the more of a minefield it looked; pitch decks, presentations, shares, EIS schemes, contracts and legalities, business valuations, exit plans and he would also have to find a suitable person too.

Fortunately, at this point Dave realised that he needed a business expert on board so turned to Empiric Partners for assistance. Empiric Partners worked with Dave to help him come to a fully informed decision as to the best route forward. As a result, Dave obtained £25k of unsecured loan funding at a low interest rate through the government-backed Start-up loan scheme, which included free business support and mentoring with Empiric Partners. Then, having been guided through the appropriate steps, Dave identified a business angel who was a perfect match and a deal was agreed for an additional injection of funds to help him fully develop his business. Empiric Partners has remained alongside, and Dave is currently on target for £2M turnover and a healthy profit margin in his first year with plans in place to double his business next year.

If you are fed up with “computer says no” and feel like you don’t quite fit into any of the right boxes or would like to have an expert to work with you, Empiric Partners have experienced, impartial Advisors on hand to help.


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