Equity and debt finance guide for SMEs

A free guide for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on debt and equity finance has been published by the British Business Bank and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

The Business Finance Guide explains the finance considerations and options at each stage of a business's journey, from start-up to growth and from expansion to flotation.

Topics covered include:

  • attracting investment through equity finance
  • accessing capital through debt finance
  • business planning and strategies
  • sources of financial advice and support.

The guide is aimed at start-ups and entrepreneurs as well as directors of growing companies and their professional advisers.

It also provides an overview of the Business Bank, which aims to leverage £3.9 billion of public funding with private sector investment to create £10 billion of funds over the next 5 years.

The Business Secretary Vince Cable said of the guide:

"The business finance market is going through a period of rapid change with challenger banks, peer-to-peer lenders and invoice financing gaining traction. But over two-thirds of small and medium sized firms only go to one finance provider, so it is important businesses know about the huge variety of options open to them.

"This newly-published free Business Finance Guide should be essential reading for all entrepreneurs and directors, and will play a key role in raising awareness of the different types of finance available to start or grow their business."

Michael Izza, chief executive of the ICAEW, said:

"Business investment is forecast to grow by 8.2% this year, up from a previous forecast of 7.1%, and confidence is at a record high. Companies may be wary of less well known sources of finance but the Business Finance Guide aims to answer any questions they have about a wide range of options."