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Crowdfunders among speakers

Need funding? IoD hosts seminar for growth firms

David WattBusiness start-ups in the Aberdeen area looking for funding are invited to hear from a number of providers, including those in the growing peer-to-peer lending sector.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) Scotland has booked a line-up of speakers for a half-day seminar in the city on 18 February 18 at the Hilton Treetops Hotel.

Among the speakers are Doug Duguid, chief executive of EnerMech, who will be giving the entrepreneur’s perspective on funding.

Focusing on the opportunities in crowdfunding will be Craig McKenna of Crowdcube, while Andy Coleman, another entrepreneur, will look at peer funding options through The Funding Circle.

More conventional funding opportunities will be presented by Kathryn Reid, senior investment manager at the Business Growth Fund; David Hornell, Bank of Scotland; Gary Torbett, financial readiness specialist, Scottish Investment Bank and Jock Gardiner, partner, Maven Capital Partners.

The seminar will also look at the issues in export finance with Jon Boyce, manager northern regions, UK Export Finance.

Executive director of IOD Scotland, David Watt said: “Having come through a period with some of the most challenging economic circumstances we have experienced, the last thing that businesses in the Aberdeen area needed was the added uncertainty brought about by the low oil price.

“But, to grow opportunities for the future, it is vital that new businesses achieve funding for their start-up and that established businesses secure the funding they need to grow.

“At our business funding seminar we will have an impressive line-up of funding experts to help the delegates examine the range of funding options that may be available to them, from conventional equity finance and bank finance through to ‘crowdfunding’ and ‘peer lending’.”

The facilitator for the workshop will be Stephen Westwood, chairman of IoD Fife.

• Full details of the ‘How to Secure Business Funding’ seminar are on the IoD website at www.iod.com/scotland and click on the “Latest Events” link or call IoD Scotland on 0131 557 5488.

Peer to peerThe peer-to-peer lending industry supplied £1.24 billion to growing businesses last year, according to new figures

The sector has now loaned more than £2.1 billion in total, doubling in size since the end of 2013, and the number of lenders increased by a third, while borrowers have also increased by almost 90%.

Christine Farnish, chairman of the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA), said the figures support government moves to recognise the contribution made by alternative finance providers.

“These figures demonstrate the growing impact peer-to-peer lending is having on the market. Last year showed continued and solid growth in the consumer market and a significant increase in lending flow to businesses. Invoice finance and peer-to-peer finance within the property market are also growing,” she said.

“2015 will be another important year for our industry. The Government has agreed that peer-to-peer lending should become part of the ISA tax-wrapper, a decision we warmly welcome.

“Our strong view is that Government should establish a new ‘Lending ISA’ category to enable consumers to understand the difference between peer-to-peer lending, cash savings and stocks and shares investments.”

The P2PFA’s current membership includes Funding Circle, RateSetter, Zopa, ThinCats, LendInvest, Madiston LendLoanInvest, MarketInvoice, Lending Works and Landbay.

New entrants include LendingCrowd in Edinburgh and Squareknot in Glasgow.

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