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Looking for finance?

With a wider range of alternative funding options on offer to growing Welsh SMEs in 2015, the Finance Wales Senior Investment Executive, Alun Thomas offers his viewpoint on what management teams should consider when securing funding.

The rise of alternative funders and challenger banks over the last 7 years has changed the funding landscape with a greater variety of funders on offer than previously. Choosing a funder to back your business requires careful thought and could impact your future success.

Alun ThomasSenior Investment Executive, Finance Wales

The funding landscape for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) has changed radically over the last 7 years with new options such as crowd funding and peer-to-peer lending as well as challenger banks now complementing traditional funding sources such as bank lending and angel investment.

In Wales, the broader range of funds Finance Wales now manages is also an option, of course.

With alternative funders now providing SMEs with valuable and much-needed funding to complement mainstream finance options, it’s also clear that these funders are here to stay.

I’m pleased that more and more of the management teams I’m meeting in West Wales are embracing this choice and thinking carefully not only about the funding they need to achieve their goals, but also their choice of funder.

Increasingly, deal-pricing is now one of a mix of considerations for these savvy management teams and for many, a well-structured funding package tailored to their plans and deliverable in acceptable timescales is what they’re looking for.

Businesses grow in many different ways and choosing the right long-term backer funder can play a critical part in how they maximise their potential, achieve long-term success and increase their economic impact. It could also alleviate problems raising funds in future.

The extra choice now on offer to SMEs is having a positive impact and I hope more management teams in West Wales will be encouraged to go for growth. I also hope that we will see even more innovative SME funding options in future.