Looking to grow your business? We've rounded up some exciting new sources of funding to keep in mind

UK seed funding “worrying”

Seed-stage investment activity has fallen to “worrying” levels in the UK as investors, particularly angel networks, await clarity on Brexit. UK seed-stage deals dropped to 663 last year – the lowest level since 2014 – according to a 2018 report published by database Beauhurst. Seed-stage funding is often described as a canary in a coalmine – if it drops, the pipeline of investee companies at the venture and growth stages typically diminishes with time.

However, there are lots of funding options available. Enterprise Nation, which provides advice to small businesses, runs Show Me the Money. Different funders get together and business owners work the room to decide on the best seed funding or growth capital.

Start-ups get government boost

The government has unveiled a multi-million-pound fund aimed at boosting small businesses’ productivity. Tech projects and pilots including AI, cloud computing and digital dairy farming have benefited from the Business Basics Fund. Fifteen projects have won a share of £2m from the first round of funding. Small firms, local authorities and academic institutions can apply for a share of the next funding wave. The deadline is 17th April, and there may be further rounds.

Entrepreneur First launches £90m fund

Fledgling business owners can apply to Entrepreneur First for an investment from its new £90m fund. The accelerator’s new pool is backed by big names, including US venture capital firm, Trusted Insight, Zoopla Founder, Alex Chesterman, and Transferwise Founder, Taavet Hinrikus. Based at The Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey, Entrepreneur First chooses promising founders and gives them £2,000, plus help forming a team to build a new company.

Follow Entrepreneur First on Twitter @join_EF

€53m on the table for techies

InReach Ventures, a venture capital firm that uses artificial intelligence to seek deal opportunities, has €53m up for grabs for tech companies. It reached a first close earlier this year – the point at which it can begin investing capital – for early-stage European technology businesses. The fund exceeded its initial €50m target. Co-founded three years ago by alumni of venture capital firm Balderton Capital, its investments to date include marketplace Oberlo, payments-card provider Soldo and design-technology specialist Shapr3D.

Bright Ideas for communities

Charitable trust Power to Change has launched a £3.2m Community Business Bright Ideas Fund to offer support and grants of up to £15,000 to 150 groups for project development. For three years, the fund will offer early-stage finance to conduct consultations with locals to develop business ideas for communities in England. It will also provide tools to set up their businesses.

Did you know? Workspace customers have free and exclusive access to funding strategy consultations, finance seminars, workshops and access to over 800 sources of finance through our partner Informed Funding. Informed Funding is an online and offline information resource designed to help New and Growing Companies identify the range of options available to them to raise finance, find out more here.

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