When raising capital, business owners need to look beyond the pound signs when working out what alliances to create. That was the takeaway from the recent Glasgow Business Summit 2016.
A panel, including David Leslie, Head of Deals for PwC in Scotland; Graham Smith, Glasgow City Council; Andy Hall, Barclays; Mike McCudden, Social Stock Exchange; and Daniel Broby, Strathclyde Business School debated how Glasgow-based and Scottish firms could improve raising capital, helping the city and the country to become more of a powerhouse in a number of sectors.
David noted that while raising capital has always been fundamental to business growth, there have been a lot of changes in recent years – compared to 20 years ago, entrepreneurs have considerably more avenues for support and development.
The panel discussed their own experiences with businesses looking for fundraising and offered examples of what they believe has worked best.
“When looking at capital financing, it is important to consider the whole business lifecycle and the different kinds of funding available. Some of the most successful businesses we work with all utilise funding sources effectively, and share a clear vision of where they want the business to go. However, there are still gaps in the funding solutions available that entrepreneurs need to be aware of - sometimes it can be easier to raise £20m rather than £1m.”
“It is also important to remember that entrepreneurs are now operating in a global market, and that the appropriate funding solution may require looking beyond Scotland or the UK.”
David was keen to stress the importance of the relationship with the funders, as key stakeholders. He said:
“The financial sector needs to provide the right type of capital at the relevant stage of your development, and this needs to be in the right format and on appropriate terms. However, this will be easier to obtain if the entrepreneurs build a relationship of trust and transparency with their funders, and provide appropriate information about the investment. There needs to be mutual confidence for the relationship to succeed.”
“Furthermore, by building a good relationship with the funders, entrepreneurs can benefit from the expertise that they can bring in addition to capital. This could be in the form of access to new markets, involvement with experienced management teams or access to other portfolio companies – which can all provide invaluable support to a growing business.”
David encouraged those looking for further information on staying up to date with advice in the deals sector to sign up to the Deal Talk network.