Starting and growing a business can be fraught with difficulties, not least when trying to generate the funds needed to keep it afloat. Equally challenging, for policymakers and financial institutions at least, is how to develop the policies, products and services that will support the UK’s entrepreneurs.
For some, the answer lies in equity finance. However, the combination of high levels of risk, information irregularities, steep due diligence and high compliance costs can make it difficult for smaller companies to access this type of funding. Others believe innovative funding mechanisms, such as peer-to-peer finance and crowd-funding, hold thekey. Relatively new to the market, these rely on the generosity of individuals or the collective cooperation of a group of people to get a project or company off the ground. Meanwhile, venture capital, angel investors and supply chain finance also have their own individual roles to play.
To assess how to address the challenge of access to finance, New Statesman, in partnership with ACCA, hosted a series of party conference fringe events. However, as the discussions were to illustrate, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.