The F-word. The most used word in business?

Let's talk about it...

Jeez, you’re a dodgy lot. What did you think we were talking about? Oh, now we get it, you didn’t realise we were talking F for finance, and in this case, sources of alternative financing? Finance is, after all, the lifeblood of business.

Innovative financing options that bypass traditional banks are new(ish) enablers for startups and small businesses. Unless one miraculously wins the EuroMillions (wouldn’t it be nice?), borrowing from a third party will very likely be a necessity for an SME to get off the ground. When the coffers of ‘friends and family’ have been exhausted, it’s time to look elsewhere.

We’ve learned from past episodes of That Great Business Show, that there are some very interesting sources of alternative financing, if one knows where to look. For example:

  • Angel Investors
  • Accelerators
  • Incubators
  • Private Funding

Angel Investor - Halo Angel Business Network (HBAN)

On Episode 32, we met John Phelan, All-Island Director of HBAN, the Halo Business Angel Network. HBAN is an umbrella group that supports the early-stage entrepreneurial community in Ireland and aims to increase the amount of angel investors investing in early stage companies. They’re particularly interested in Information & Communications Technology, Financial Services, MedTech and other sectors at the seed or early stages as many of their registered Angels focus on these areas. Check them out if your business fits the bill!

Accelerators and Incubators - NDRC

If your business is a very early stage digital company, with global ambitions, Menno Axt (Episode 30), Chief of Staff of NDRC, wants to have a chat. NDRC is ranked as one of the best IT incubators in the world and is a major player in this space, offering coaching and mentoring in the initial business stages. The company can invest up to €135K per company, as well as providing an award-winning acceleration model and tailored investor management after completion of the NDRC process. NDRC invests via an integrated model of a modest amount of capital investment and provides practical expert guidance and support.

Business Finance - FIFO Capital

On Episode 27, we chatted to Patrice Butler, Business Partner of FIFO Capital – an Antipodean challenger - that can turn invoices turned into cash immediately, with no contract. This can be a viable alternative to the more conventional banking route. FIFO Capital is a leading provider of business finance solutions with deep pockets and expert finance skills to support its clients cash flow and capital needs. After fifteen years of supporting clients of all industries from construction to manufacturing, the company understands the challenges and opportunities of business (and everything in between!) – and how to make good and informed decisions fast, and business likes fast.

Investment Property Finance - Onate

Dan Gandesha (Episode 27), co-founder of Onate, a Kilkenny-based alternative finance source for B2B bridging finance to developers with property projects that need short term financing, such as buildings, that may need minor refurbishment to make them market ready. Onate lends against residential investment property [so not housing estates per se] in Ireland. Loans are structured flexibly, and the company lends up to 65% loan-to-value for social housing or properties near Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick, reducing across the country based on the liquidity of the area. This is ideal for construction entrepreneurs who need the readies upfront.

Private Equity - Renatus Capital Partners

Philip Gardiner (Episode 27), Associate Director with Renatus Capital Partners filled us in on the best options in terms of private equity. Renatus is an Irish-based private equity firm that actively supports scaling Irish mid-market companies to realise their potential by providing investment capital, without jumping through (too many) hoops. With more than 25 years private equity, corporate finance and operating experience, along with investors, Renatus provides access to a larger collaborative network of trusted industry specialists, strategic investors and professional advisers. The company usually invests in Irish and UK companies with enterprise values of €5m+, providing equity investment of €2m (or more). It also co-invests alongside other investors and partners in larger sized investments.

Take your pick

Like Pick‘n’Mix, there are a broad range of alternative financing options available out there, but choose your favourite wisely. 

P.S. Always, always, always take professional advice.