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Small businesses urgently need seed investment to survive: More than a third of small firms have frozen growth plans due to soaring energy costs

Brunel University London’s Co-Innovate team today responded to the Federation of Small Businesses recent energy survey [i], which determined that the impact of the energy price crisis is seriously affecting the future growth plans of Britain’s small businesses.

Whilst the FSB has warned of a potential ‘cliff edge’, Brunel University London’s enterprise support programme ‘Co-Innovate’ recently launched the Business Investment Accelerator programme (in collaboration with NatWest) which is designed to get ambitious smaller firms ready for investment.   Being ‘investment ready’ is important for small firms seeking investment funding, which will allow them to survive before they can proceed to thrive.  The UK Government’s current phase of EBRS[ii] is scheduled to come to an end on 1 April 2023, and the survey states that twenty-four per cent of small businesses anticipate that they would need to close, downsize or radically restructure if that were to happen.

CONTENT 1 image Naima Omasta Milsom 2 | Business ExpressNaima Omasta-Milsom (pictured), Co-Innovate Innovation Director says: “It’s a tough environment for small business owners, especially when it comes to finding the funds to grow. That’s why Co-Innovate has joined forces with leaders in the field who can build the knowledge and capacity of London’s owner managers to have the right approach to investment.”

The Business Investment Accelerator programme is open now for registration[iii].  The first of four workshops begins on 17th January 2023.

Marta Jordan, Founder of Raise Design[iv] was one of the first to sign up for the Business Investment Accelerator programme and commented “As a bootstrapped startup founder, this programme is a perfect opportunity to grow my business with strategic support, to help me get ready for investment and to develop my skills to pitch for funding.”

Places for eligible small companies are fully subsidised. Funding for this programme is provided through the GLA and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In addition, Brunel Business School will work with owners on a business review to determine the kind of support and assistance needed.

Stewart Smith, Local Enterprise Manager with NatWest adds: “We are delighted to be working with the Co-Innovate team at Brunel on the Business Investment Accelerator. Given the pressures on both start-ups and ambitious smaller firms to find the right funding, these workshops will really help. It’s also about starting the search for the right investor for the business, someone who understands you and your business.”

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High profile investor, entrepreneur and millionaire mentor Sukhi Wahiwala, of Business BoardRoom, has collaborated with the programme to offer participants the chance to win a Business BoardRoom 12 month scholarship of one to one mentoring worth £12,000.

Mr Wahiwala said: “You may have a fabulous product or service that people appear to want, but without the right mindset you won’t succeed. Nor will investors take notice if you lack the determination to overcome obstacles and seize new opportunities. Something I have learned in my business career.”

CONTENT 1 image Co innovate BIA Programme 2023 0001 | Business Express CONTENT 1 image Co innovate BIA Programme 2023 0002 | Business Express

[i] https://www.fsb.org.uk/resources-page/fsb-report—energy-bill-relief-scheme-review–november-2022.html

[ii] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/energy-bill-relief-scheme-help-for-businesses-and-other-non-domestic-customers

[iii] https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/business-investment-accelerator-programme-business-assessmentreview-day-tickets-439686272477

[iv] https://raisedesign.co.uk/innovation/

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