Entrepreneur’s Guide: ABC’s of raising seed capital

As an entrepreneur just starting out one crucial step on your checklist is raising your initial funds or ‘seed capital’. There are several ways out there to help you and the following are what we call the ‘ABC’s for funding your business’

A= Angels:

Angels are usually high net-worth individuals who invest in young companies and take equity in return. Angel investors are usually silent business partners who themselves were/are successful entrepreneurs who have cashed out and are now looking to help young companies. Traditionally angels or angel investors are one of the oldest sources for capital for start-up entrepreneurs.  Some angel investors will also be able to bring their business knowledge and skills to the table too.

To find out more about Angel Investors please check the following sites:

http://www.venturegiant.com/

http://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk/home

B = Banks:

Banks do provide loans to businesses but typically this is usually for an established business and therefore a start-up company might be left disappointed when after presenting a business plan to the bank they are still turned down.  Bank loans come with interest rates and usually bank repayments are on demand and therefore could be quite strenuous on a young business that is still growing.

There are also grants available from the government and foundations like the Princes Trust which could help young entrepreneurs – this option however involves applying for the grants which in itself is quite a process and also not always guaranteed.

C = Crowds/Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a broad term used describing the collective cooperation of people who pool their money and other resources together to support efforts or initiatives.  Crowdfunding has been used to fund different initiatives like disaster relief, support of artists by fans, political campaigns, movies and also start up company funding, usually these are donations with no financial gain or equity.

Kickstarter, Indiegogo are all platforms that allow people to invest into startup companies, creative projects – just as the filming project for The Couple the movie. There are other platforms which instead of the ‘feel good’ factor of helping entrepreneurs, there are crowd funding platforms which offer equity in return for investments.

There various other more ways to raise that initial seed capital before proceeding to Series A funding with Venture Capitalists but we know that seed investment is what sometimes holds entrepreneurs back. There are also other routes like Dragon’s Den, Be Your Own Boss and the yet to come to our screens Simon Cowell/Will.i.am show – though we know a very minute percintile of entrepreneurs would be funded on such shows. We would like to encourage any entrepreneurs out there, any dreamers, any visionaries out there – do not doubt yourself and get out there and make it all happen.

Once you find out what it is [that you are talented at], that’s not the end of it. Once you find out your genius level talent, you apply yourself in such a way that you do amazing sh-t. I’m a living testament of that. I am no muthaf-cking different than anybody in here tonight and I’m standing on this stage as living proof that if you apply yourself to what it is that you are genius at, you can do anything in the world. Jay-Z Source

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