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Startup Finance (Where to go for help with raising funds)

Not all businesses require bank loans or financial help from out side agencies. Your business could possible startup without raising finance. It is always great help if you can start a business without taking out financial loans from other people or providers, since you are debt free from the start. Your business plan and the cash flow forecast will confirm what finance you need (working out the start-up costs).

However most businesses owners either have their own money to spend or have to resort to raising money from elsewhere. We list below the various places where you would go to raise money to start your business.

start-up finance, loans and venture funds

Personal Investment

If you already have savings of your own and can afford to invest the money into the business then this is always the preferred option. You know what you can afford to invest and how much you need to keep for other personal expenses you may have. It is also a good way to demonstrate your own commitment to the business, since you are risking your own funds.

If you do not have any money to invest, there are other means as below:

Friends and Family

In almost every case a new startup ends up asking for financial help from a family member or relative. Convincing family members to put money, is not an easy task, but you do have a much better chance, since they already know what type of a person you are. If they trust you and your idea is good you could very easily persuade them to invest in your business in return for some shares in the business or an attractive rate of interest. Several well know businesses started this way, accessing cheap and relatively small amounts from family and friends can be better suited for some businesses.

Business Incubators

A large number of universities and colleges have business incubation units based with their institution. Some offer small startup grants which come with a package of support, such as access to a startup advisor, training and advice from experts, such as marketing, basic accounting for business, developing sales and much more. It is worth getting in touch with your college or university to ask if they offer such as service.

Trusts and Charities

There are not many places which actually offer free money, or grant these days. One of the most prominent and well know is the The Prince's Trust. It helps individuals who are aged 18-30 and can meet the conditions to receive the loan and in some cases a small grant. Please contact your local Prince's Trust office or the Wildfire team to discuss this further.

Several other organisations have grant or funds which are available such as Shell LiveWire, but in all cases you will need to demonstrate your business case and that you have failed to secure finance from elsewhere.


Banks are the most traditional form of raising finance. Most banks won’t even look at a bank loan without a business plan, which means if you have not already done so, you will need to put your business idea on paper and explain the business to the bank so they may lend you the money.

Venture Capitalist (VCS)

They can be individuals or companies that invest in new startup companies or already trading businesses in return for a share in the company. VCs may take an advisory role or a management role, as a board member of the company.

Warning: VCs want to make money for themselves and others, and not all businesses are suited to this model, please seek your own advice or speak to the Wildfire team and will put you in touch with an advisor who can go through the positives and negatives of this type of funding. As in all cases, never discuss your business idea with people whom you do not trust, and where possible get a non-disclosure signed by both parties in advance.