50 local businesses keen to learn about alternative business funding solutions packed the Conference Suite at Careys Manor Hotel & Senspa in Brockenhurst on Thursday 16 April 2015. BBC South Today covered the event and focused on the issues in a news feature shown on their Tuesday 21st April show.

The New Forest Business Partnership event was led by journalist David Stevenson of the Financial Times, who explored the variety of alternative routes to finance for local businesses. 

Speakers at New Forest Business Partnership Alternative Finance Thu 16 Apr 15Other speakers included crowd-funding specialists Syndicate Room, peer-to-peer business funding specialists FundingKnight and finance brokers Genie Lending.  Presentations covered alternative solutions to provide cash-flow funding, invoice, development, bridging and asset finance along with the associated opportunities and risks involved for business borrowers, savers and investors.

The latest data suggests that 79% of businesses that approach banks for loans are turned down, curtailing expansion plans and, at worst, forcing companies out of business. The evidence suggests that the UK’s banking system is failing to meet the needs of small companies, while paying record low interest rates – often lower than 1% – to people with savings.

Alternative Finance event delegatesDelegates heard that alternative ideas such as peer-to-peer lending, crowd-funding, and angel investment networks are providing significant opportunities to fill the gap left by the traditional banking system.

Following an enthusiastic question and answer session, the New Forest Business Partnership was identified as a useful local framework to develop a range of alternative finance solutions that would benefit local New Forest business start-up and expansion.  A follow-up event has already been scheduled for an Alternative Finance Business Breakfast on Thursday 9 July 2015 which will explore how this could be achieved, more details to follow soon.

Thanks to Careys Manor Hotel for a well hosted event.

NFBP members can view presentations from the event by visiting the members’ area.

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