Equity Funding and Government Grants
There are several ways to acquire funding for your business. Business owners can acquire through bank finance, equity finance and government grants. The most common which is bank funding may not be available to everyone and may not be the best option, even for businesses that can access it. Equity finance and government grants may be an alternative.
- Equity finance. This is a way of raising capital from external investors in return for a stake in your business. This stake is called an equity. It represents the value of your business after its assets and liabilities are considered. Several kinds of equity finance are appropriate for small, private businesses, venture capital, business angels, the stock market and crowdfunding.
- A venture capital firm is a business that invests in new businesses with high growth potential.
- Business Angels are individuals who invests in startups and young companies with good growth prospects in exchange for a share in the company’s equity.
- The stock market allows investors to buy shares in your company which are then traded on the stock exchange. This is typically an option for large companies that are prepared to take on the higher regulatory requirements and scrutiny that public ownership entails.
- Crowdfunding, on the other hand, allows many people to invest small amounts of money in your business at any stage in its growth. This usually takes place on dedicated websites known as crowdfunding platforms. You create a profile for your business and use the platform’s video hosting and social networking tools to reach prospective investors. You will need to set a funding target, and be prepared to pay back any money you receive if you do not reach this amount. Each investor will expect to receive an award for their contribution. For example, early access to your product, or a financial return. What you choose to offer is an important part of your pitch. Crowdfunding is a fast way to raise money and a good option if you’re struggling to secure bank loans or other forms of funding. There are three broad kinds of finance – bank finance, equity finance and government grants.
- Government grants. If your business is new or expanding, you may be eligible for a business development grant from the government. A grant is a sum of money offered to a business for a specific project and usually covers only part of the total costs. You won’t have to repay it, or give up shares in your business, as long as you adhere to all its conditions. Government grants usually attract many applicants, so be prepared to face strong competition and meet stringent eligibility criteria.