I think I was pleased (and certainly surprised given the government cutbacks and layoffs) to hear that there are new sources of money appearing for entrepreneurs. I heard about two in the last two weeks so I’ve done a little background research into them:

  • The Angel Co-investment fund. Capital for Enterprise (CfEL) is administrating a fund of £50 million from the UK Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF). This fund will invest alongside Syndicates who are making their first investment in a qualifying SME of between £50,000 and £1 million. A Syndicate is defined by the BBAA as a group of three or more investors in an unstructured group (that pays them a registration fee of about £95pa per member). The fund will pay the Syndicate Manager 2.5% on successful investment in return for monitoring information and rights to invest in further rounds.
  • Carbon Trust Entrepreneur Fast Track Programme. As announced on the website: “We provide a customised package of expert commercial advice, networking opportunities and grant funding to small enterprises that are developing low carbon technologies in the UK”. Applications can be made to the Carbon Trust for development grants up to £500,000 and expert commercial advice up to £70,000 from their new £3 million fund.

Sounds great… I’m always pleased to see help provided to entrepreneurs but I’m concerned by the bureaucracy that comes with such money – perhaps this should be a subject of another blog? I continued researching the Carbon Trust’s offering and discovered that all the grants have already gone (except in Wales on a case-by-case basis) and the email was only 2 days old!

One out of two is good news…  so

Businesses: find your syndicates!

Business angels: find some friends!