The Smarta 100 Academy, together with O2, delivered a finance masterclass last night to help small business owners navigate the world of crowdfunding, venture capital, asset finance and bank lending.
The packed room of entrepreneurs was given advice in raising finance by Luke Hakes, Octopus Investments; Sam Barnett, CEO of Struq; Nick Howe, regional enterprise manager, NatWest Business Banking; Darren Westlake, founder and CEO of Crowdcube and Gem Misa, founder of Righteous.
CEO of Struq and ex-Smarta 100 winner, Sam Barnett, spoke about the ways that he had raised millions to scale his advert personalisation company, and advised other business owners to be careful who you raise money from and on what terms.
Gem Misa, founder of Righteous and 2011 Smarta 100 winner, advocated crowdfunding as an effective way for business owners to raise investment. Having recently secured £75,000 via Crowdcube, she advised that it had also provided her with over 80 ‘socially savvy’ brand evangelists.
Nick Howe, regional enterprise manger at NatWest, explained that business banking lending decisions are often based on the acronym CAMPARI, standing for character, ability, means, purpose, amount, repayment and insurance. “If you are looking to open the latest nail bar on a street that already has 20, the answer is likely to be no.”