Investment is just one way of raising business capital. There are other ways of raising the funds you need:
- Grants: Good for research and development, consultancy help, and start-ups. These don't usually need to be paid back but can involve lots of bureaucracy. You need to ensure that they fit your needs and you can comply with the terms of the grant contract.
- R&D Tax Credits: Can provide up to 225% of eligible costs to offset against Corporation Tax as a relief or a credit.
- Overdrafts and loans: A good option for working capital, cash-flow, equipment, or premises. You'll need to repay the capital plus interest, and it can be difficult to obtain these types of funding for start-up and early stage companies, due to their lack of trading history and security.
- Crowdfunding: Can be donation, reward, loans or equity. It's a great way of testing the market and raising project funds. However it can expose your intellectual property. On some sites, if you don't reach your target then you won't receive any of the funds pledged.
- Equity: Good for technology start-ups, risky situations, growth, development, management buyouts. You sell shares in your company for cash and possibly expertise.