Finance options for smaller businesses

Understand and identify suitable finance options to help your business grow with the Finance Hub from the British Business Bank.

Developed in conjunction with editorial partners from across the finance industry, the Finance Hub is an independent information hub designed to help your business grow.

Use our simple six-step finance finder and interactive content to learn more about finance and discover finance options that could help your business reach its growth potential.

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Working with a national network of Delivery Partners, Start Up Loans provide Government-backed unsecured personal loans from £500 – £25,000 to start or grow a new business.

In addition to funding, Start Up Loans provide 12 month of free mentoring to successful loan recipients, as well as exclusive discounts on many business products.

During the application process, applicants can get free support and guidance in writing a business plan and creating a cash flow forecast.

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Explore your finance options with The Business Finance Guide – a journey from start-up to growth. 

It is a unique guide that sets out the main things to consider and the finance options available to businesses – ranging from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies.

The Business Finance Guide draws on the considerable expertise of its many contributors, who together represent more than a million members in businesses, finance providers and advisory firms and organisations.

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Finance finder tools

UK Finance’s Business Finance for You tool also provides a search function to businesses looking to raise finance from private sector sources, including many unlocked by the British Business Bank.

A new improved tool on the gov.uk website provides information on grants and schemes provided by the public sector.

For further advice on finance options for your business, please call the Business Support Helpline on 0300 456 3565, Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. (Calls to 0300 numbers cost the same as calls to geographic numbers starting 01 or 02 and may be included as part of inclusive call minutes or discount schemes as defined by providers).

The Chartered Institute of Credit Management have produced a set of guides looking at all aspects of cash management .

If you are particularly interested in applying for equity finance, the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association has an online one-stop shop for venture capital and entrepreneurs.

Advice and guides

The Business Finance Advice Scheme helps small and medium-sized enterprises find qualified accountants access high quality, independent, finance advice. You can find an expert finance adviser in your local area by searching the directories of the three participating accountancy bodies:

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW)

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)

ICAS have also compiled a useful guide to starting a business in Scotland, which can be accessed on their website

HMRC also provide useful guides on topics related to business and investment on their web learning portal and website:

Starting your own business

Self-employed Business Expenses

Becoming an Employer

Investment Schemes

Other Advice

GREAT Business

The UK government provides a range of services and support for smaller businesses. The GREAT Business website provides details of what the government offers, as well as inspiration for growing your business.

GREAT Business

Business Banking Insight

The new and improved Business Banking Insight website aims to help over 5 million UK businesses to identify which bank is best for them and get the best possible service.

It provides SMEs with a clear and credible way to judge how their bank compares to its competitors and the finance options they offer.

Business Banking Insight