Delyth Edwards is a senior manager at British Business Bank, the UK’s economic development bank, working with more than 200 delivery partners such as banks and venture capital funds. British Business Bank support UK businesses to start up, scale up and stay ahead with access to finance information and support.
Delyth shares her top tips relating to business funding.
What gets you excited about helping businesses secure funding?
I am fortunate enough to get to talk to a wide variety of founders and businesses who are extremely passionate about what they do and have a unique and interesting story to tell about their journey.
Whilst we don’t lend or invest directly at the British Business Bank, I can signpost businesses to our range of programmes and delivery partners who can help them secure the funding they require.
When looking for funding, where should a business start?
Businesses should consider seeking professional advice and guidance when looking for funding to ensure they are on the right track. If you already have an accountant, a trusted mentor or advisor or a contact at your local business growth hub this will help you get started.
British Business Bank’s Finance Hub is also a place where you can find a variety of information to help you with the next steps.
What are your top tips to get a business investment ready?
There are many important aspects to consider, aside from finance to ensure that you have a clear growth plan that takes into account the following; What makes your business special and stand out from the competition? Do you fully understand your market? Are you missing any key skills from your management team?
From a financial perspective you need to be clear on why you need investment, the amount and timing of the funding required and that your financial forecasts are realistic
What are the common pitfalls businesses make when seeking funding?
Not being well prepared or ready for finance is a common pitfall. By not seeking professional and appropriate advice from experts in advance, businesses risk making costly mistakes, or spending time and resource seeking finance without having researched the market thoroughly in the first instance.
Whether the business is applying for a grant, debt or equity finance they need to ensure that it’s a good match for the aspirations and purpose of the company.
What are funders looking for in a leader and management team?
Funders look for a strong mix of skills and experience within a management team to ensure that there is a balance between the key aspects of running a business such as commercial, technical and financial.
Funders will have varying criteria that needs to be met for some funds depending on whether it’s a grant for a specific project or a loan to expand the business. It’s always best to have a conversation with the fund and fully understand what they are looking for before you apply.
Why should investors and funders be looking to Lancashire Businesses?
Lancashire has a thriving and varied business community, from startups through to established businesses with particular strengths across cleantech, health, digital and advanced manufacturing providing a great pipeline of opportunities for investors.
For more information on British Business Bank, visit https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/