How to grow a business when banks won’t lend

Author: Gemma Varriale | Published: 20 May 2013
  • The continuing squeeze on bank finance is leading SMEs to develop innovative mechanisms for alternative funding;
  • Hotel Chocolat’s so-called chocolate bond, which paid investors in chocolate, is just one example of the emerging tide of innovative techniques;
  • In preparing for alternative funding, companies must not leave it too late, and should remember that different forms of finance are complementary;
  • Forming relationships at an early stage is also key;
  • The government has a contradictory approach. While it wants more companies to use equity finance, it doesn’t want retail investors investing in small businesses.

Growing companies have been hit particularly hard by the squeeze on bank finance. But, despite the retreat of traditional sources of credit, financing is available to those that are willing to innovate.

A panel of industry specialists, introduced by the UK secretary of state for business, Vince Cable, gathered to...