I recently had the privilege to visit the hallowed halls of 10 Downing Street. It is impressive! You can feel that you are in the presence of powerful forces.
I was invited to No. 10 as part of the Innovators in Finance Summit. This is a group from the collectively termed, Alternative Funding Sector, a broad coalition of non-bank funders offering a diverse selection of finance options, including asset finance, invoice finance, pension-led funding, peer-to-peer lending and crowd sourcing.
Some of these options are tried and tested and have been available for many years and some have only recently been enabled by technology advances.
The object of the summit was to explore how these alternative funding options could be made more accessible to the small and medium-sized business community and the participants were encouraged to give their candid opinions on this subject. As I did!
Politicians and their advisers are all too accessible to the large lending institutions, with their veiled threats of re-location and their huge payrolls.
But this meeting was an acknowledgement that these same large lenders are failing the small and medium-sized business community and consequently these businesses, the life blood of the UK economy, are slowly being strangled.
And so we opened a window onto the topic and hopefully got some fresh air into the conversation.
We shall see.