I feel a change comin’ on

After months of planning we are delighted to have launched the new portal for small and medium-sized business owners, alternativebusinessfunding.co.uk

Seven of the UKs largest and most dynamic alternative funding providers (Crowdcube, Funding Circle, MarketInvoice, Platform Black, Seedrs, Zopa and pensionledfunding.com) have come together to collaborate and help change the business funding landscape for the better.

I will happily stick up my hand and admit that I have been somewhat of a driving force behind this initiative to date. Without preaching on this, working with business owners to try to help them finance their businesses in such a way that they retain as much control as possible, is something of a mission for me and my colleagues at Clifton.

Control can come in many different forms and in this case control means choice. Real options. Finding the most appropriate solution is often difficult and even figuring out who to contact can be a challenge.

Not so with our simple traffic light interactive process, which quickly and efficiently leads the business owner to a starting point for their funding journey.

This will grow. From the seven of us in the initial launch I anticipate that others will join. Other lenders, including most importantly the large banks, will feel comfortable telling those customers that they can’t help, “try this”, and point them to the portal.

It is early days, but the writing is on the wall, reinforced by Business Secretary Vince Cable’s assertion that small businesses still face problems with banking.

“SMEs feel they have too few lending options other than the big four banks, which is not healthy for the economy,” he said.

We hear you Vince and we are doing something about it.