MARTIN Avison is a man on a mission.  The business growth expert is frustrated at the lack of funding opportunities for ambitious SMEs in the region but rather than standing back he has teamed up with a range of different funders and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to debunk the myths and unlock the cash.
Supported by the LEP he has gathered together some of the most diverse financial experts to guide SME owners through the myriad of options and offer advice about accessing it.
With more than 20 years experience in business growth and finance he understands the market but says for many Yorkshire SMEs it is confusing and often complex so he has partnered with leading legal advisers, Clarion Solicitors who are hosting a seminar at their Elizabeth Street offices on Thursday June 9, from 8.00am.
“Yorkshire business leaders are masters of innovation and enterprise but face two key hurdles to growth.  Many are confused by the number of financial options and often don’t understand what lenders are asking for and how they want information presented.  Many admit defeat and fail to realise their full potential.  That’s bad for the regional economy. This event will endeavor to overcome these challenges”.
“Only last week in Leeds, the former Business Secretary, Sir Vince Cable, spoke of the need for SMEs to be able to access funding from sources other than the major banks and cited the disruptive and challenger banks as offering real and valid alternatives, when he spoke at Manufactured Yorkshire.  His British Business Bank has helped some SMEs but he still recognizes the need for more transparent choice.
“The LEP is determined to unlock the potential from as many of these ambitious businesses and is supporting Financial Pulse to provide some clarity around the various funding options,” Martin added.
“Our aim is to make business leaders understand better the financial options they could tap into.  Many ignore R&D tax credits, but they can make the difference to supporting a companies Innovation and R&D ambitions, while invoice financing can make a huge difference to cash flow,” he added.
“Intermediaries can play a key role is helping smooth the paths but often they find it complex.  We want them on board so that as many SMEs renew their enthusiasm for growth and explore all the possibilities.
“The speakers include peer to peer lenders, angel funding, Innovate UK, Horizon 2020 invoice financing as well as traditional bank lending, who will all offer clear advice about features and benefits and their key differences as well as advice about what they all want to see in a proposal.”
Henry Rigg, Business Growth Lead at the LEP said that access to finance was still one of the biggest hurdles stunting growth in Yorkshire.  “We want to see local businesses get the investment they need to grow.  There are lots of funding options out there and this event will give a great overview of both the public and private sector offer, whilst giving  tips for making strong applications.”
The event is free and will be held at Clarion Solicitors, Elizabeth Street, Leeds LS1 2TW starting at 8.00am. To register visit
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