The huge power and potential of so-called crowdfunding to support the growth ambitions of businesses, including start-ups, will be the focus of a special event on November 10 in Milton Keynes.
Technology forum Biztech, which is organizing the event, has secured crowdfunding specialist Angus Dent, chief executive of ArchOver, as keynot speaker at its Crowdfunding – the route to commerciality? event at UCMK.
Biztech chairman Fredi Nonyelu (pictured) said: “It is a real coup for us to secure someone of Angus’s stature as a speaker for this event.
“Crowdfunding provides very exciting funding prospects for startup and early stage companies, especially in the technology sector.”
Mr Dent said: “Peer-to-peer lending is of vital importance to individual businesses and the UK economy. SMEs are the engine of the UK economy, the engine of growth; 99% of businesses in the UK are SMEs, and they provide 48% of non-government employment.
“Without access to capital, or with restricted access to capital, the engine is bound to seize.
“We continue to hear that despite protestations to the contrary, the high street banks have withdrawn from SME lending, leaving the challenger banks and p2p lending to fill that gap and provide the oil for the engine.
In the USA, around 90% of business funding has historically come from non-bank sources. In Europe, the figure is 20%.
Mr Dent said: “But the trend is changing, and without p2p lending, the engine is at risk of dying.”
ArchOver is the pioneer of the world’s only ‘secured and insured’ peer-to-peer business lending model, facilitating loans for SMEs and delivering annual returns of up to 7% to lenders.
Mr Nonyelu said: “Biztech’s mission is to provide a platform and voice for the promotion of technology provision within Milton Keynes and SEMLEP. We are sure that Angus’s insights and knowledge will be very useful to people at this meeting.”
Also speaking at the event will be Gayle Pope, head of business services at the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership. She is leading the delivery of SEMLEP’s Velocity Growth Hub, a free business support programme resourced through public funding streams such as the European Regional Development Fund and the Regional Growth Fund and RGF.
Crowdfunding – the route to commerciality? takes place at UCMK campus in Avebury Boulevard, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3HS. For tickets, visit http://ow.ly/dTLG305GyUS