Finance Options: a guest blog by Connect Yorkshire CEO Nick Butler

Jun 13, 2017


By Lyndsey Hall

Originally posted on the


Last week we held one of our Training Seminars, this time delivered by our Partner Garbutt & Elliott (“G&E”) with help from the Business Enterprise Fund (“BEF”) at The Chambers Serviced Apartments, 30 Park Place Leeds LS1 2SP which had an excellent room for the event. About 30 attended. In this blog I am mainly going to discuss alternative finance option after touching on traditional ones.



Overdraft is still the most common finance used; it is very flexible, banks usually need asset cover and/or personal guarantees-avoid PGs if at all possible.


Asset Finance

Three main types:

Commercial Mortgages – up to 70% of value, repayment up to 25 yrs, interest as low as 2%+ base rate

Invoice Finance – Factoring  or discounting of your debts-you get about 90% of the debt

Asset Finance – Loans against assets usually equipment or vehicles


Governments Backed Scheme

The Enterprise Finance Guarantee fills a security gap that you can’t supply for your bank… 75% of the loan is guaranteed by the Govt. A PG is required. Lend is typically £25k-£1m, repayment 1-10 yrs 2% pa payable to the Govt on top of lender interest.


Peer to Peer

There are 2 main types of peer to peer finance- loans and equity. The main loan provider is Funding Circle, £2.3 billion, 24597 businesses have had finance and there are 61690 investors. Loans £5k-£1m, unsecured up to £350k with a PG, up to 5 yrs. Needs 2 yrs+ trading, good credit history and 1 yrs filed accounts.

The main equity provider is Crowdcube, £310m, 525 successful money raises, 48% market share over 400k registered members, Minimum of £20k. Optimum range £100k-£150k. Max pitch 30 days then legals 6 weeks.

The main Yorkshire peer to peer operation is which is a member of Connect Yorkshire. £11.6m raised and investors get an average 10.5% return. Makes loans to SMEs in the £25k-£300k range repayable 6-60 months, Interest negotiable.


Business Enterprise Fund (BEF)

BEF will lend for most purposes.

Up to £50k unsecured, up to £150k secured,  no early repayment penalties.

Start-Up Loans up to £25k per director (max4) 6% fixed rate.

Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund provides Microfinance £25k-£100k, Debt Finance £100k-£750 and Equity Finance up to 2m.


Connect Yorkshire is a unique not-for-profit membership group for ambitious entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses. Our members learn from many of Yorkshire’s most successful business people: our ‘Entrepreneurs in Residence’ (EIRs) who have been there and done it! Our EIRs give time and considerable expertise for free to support growing businesses and to help them create jobs and wealth in Yorkshire. 


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