Sources of equity funding for your business

Sometimes the best way for a business to start up or grow is to bring in external investment in exchange for a share of the business (a portion of its ‘equity’). This may be in addition to, or an alternative to, other types of funding. Since your funder has a stake in your business, they also bring you the benefits of their experience, expertise and business acumen.

Since Yorkshire Forward is concerned with helping more businesses to start up and grow, we assist with ‘investment readiness’—helping entrepreneurs and small companies to understand how and where to look for equity funding, and putting them in touch with investors. In this way, we ensure that businesses have the greatest chance of success when presenting a proposal to investors.

Sources of equity funding

Finance Yorkshire

Finance Yorkshire, partly funded by Yorkshire Forward is a £90million fund set up to provide businesses across the Yorkshire and Humber region with funding to start and grow. The Fund will provide seedcorn, loan and equity investments ranging from £15,000 and £2million, to help small and medium businesses raise the funding they need alongside investment from the commercial market.

Connect Yorkshire

Connect Yorkshire, partly funded by Yorkshire Forward, helps new or young technology and bioscience companies to find the funding they need to develop and grow. The initiative helps businesses to understand what investors are looking for (from both the opportunity and from the proposal), and will introduce them to potential investors. This may include the chance to present at an investment forum, where up to 50 potential investors may be gathered.

Yorkshire Association of Business Angels (YABA)

A ‘business angel’ is a private individual who invests in new and small businesses. YABA, supported by Yorkshire Forward, is Yorkshire & Humber’s only not-for-profit business angel network. It’s a unique regional forum which brings together entrepreneurs and private-sector investors who have invaluable financial and business expertise. Using this experience, members will mentor entrepreneurs in the early stages of business development. YABA enables Yorkshire-based entrepreneurs to raise investment capital of £10,000 to £250,000 for their start-up or early-growth companies.

Partnership Investment Finance (PIF)

PIF helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises to find the gap funding they need to grow, create jobs, attract inward investment and enjoy a secure and successful future. Thanks to a £37m mixed equity and loan fund, made available by the EU’s Objective Two programme, finance packages ranging from £15,000 to £1m are open to businesses in parts of Yorkshire, Humber, and North Lincolnshire.

The South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF) 

SYIF provides equity-linked investments from £100k to £1m and mezzanine loans from £150k to £1.5m. Since the fund is able to offer a mix of both loan and equity-linked investments, it seeks to back businesses, management teams and entrepreneurs seeking an investment of up to £2.5m. It can also invest in much larger transactions alongside other finance providers. SYIF also offers access to business mentors and a network of private investors.

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