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Business Finance Options

There are different circumstances that can influence which business finance options or investment solutions are the most suitable for your business.

In addition, there's a lot of information you should consider regarding how to get funding for your business. You need to take into account what the finance might be used for and what borrowing criteria you need to satisfy to access it.




So how do you decide what is right for you?
On this page, you can discover some of the most relevant options for financing a small business in Greater Manchester. We have defined exactly what a category of finance is, what the benefits are, who is eligible, what risks could be involved and what you might need to access it. You can explore options including; funding for a self-employed business, funding for small business start-ups and scale-up funding.


Equity is a business finance option that involves selling shares or partial ownership to people or an organisation in return for money, who can share in your profits or losses. Equity finance options can help you raise large amounts without building up debt, and your investors will have a personal stake in helping your business succeed.

Equity Crowdfunding

Equity crowdfunding is a way for small businesses to raise money from a broad group of people who believe in their project or business idea.

Angel Investors

Angel Investors are typically wealthy individuals who invest their own money into promising start-ups in exchange for a share in the ownership of the business.

Venture Capital

Venture capitalists are professional firms or groups that typically invest larger amounts of money in more established businesses. However, they’re also likely to invest in significantly scalable businesses.

NPIF Equity

Equity investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) enables your business to access capital funding in exchange for a negotiated stake in it.


Funding through debt involves money that you can borrow from external sources, with a liability to repay the borrowed amount with interest over a set time period. The below business finance options can help you get access to cash, while retaining full ownership of your business.


An overdraft arrangement is where a financial institution (often a bank) allows a business to withdraw funds up to an agreed overdrawn limit from its current bank account with the aim of supporting its business operation. This is often called an agreed overdraft arrangement.

Commercial Loan

Sometimes known as business loans, these are paid back over time and you can sometimes set up flexible repayment plans depending on your business' cashflows.

Invoice Finance

Invoice finance involves a provider giving you a portion of the money owed to your business by customers. It allows you to access much-needed cash quickly.

Asset Finance

Allows a business to purchase assets without paying the full amount upfront, getting quicker access to vehicles, machinery or equipment to grow the business.

Cashflow Finance

Cashflow finance helps you manage day-to-day expenses and business operations by providing quick access to money based on expected future income.

Trade Finance

Trade finance helps businesses buy and sell goods across the globe, making international trade easier.

Public Sector Grants

Public sector grants are funds provided by government organisations or agencies that can support you with specific business projects, initiatives or activities. These options for financing a small business provide you with financial support without a requirement to repay the funds.

Innovation Funding

GM Business Growth Hub’s Innovation Services offer small and medium-sized businesses across the region with the opportunity to access up to £5k in grant funding. Additional innovation grants ranging from £5k up to £25k are available to support R&D and capital expenditure.

Innovate UK SMART Grants

Innovate UK SMART Grants support ground-breaking and viable research and development (R&D) projects.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) are collaborative projects that support the transfer of knowledge, expertise, and technology between businesses and academic institutions.

Unlocking Potential Award

The Innovate UK Unlocking Potential Award aims to boost business innovation by providing support and funding to under-represented or overlooked innovators.

Public Sector Loans

Public sector loans are ways of financing a small business provided by government organisations or agencies that can support you with specific business projects, initiatives or activities. Unlike public sector grants, public sector loans must be repaid over a set time period with interest, and this interest is typically at a lower rate than loans from private lenders.

Start-up Loans

These are effectively personal loans from £500 to £25,000 to business owners that are designed to help pre-revenue or early-stage businesses launch and/or grow.

NPIF Smaller Loans II

Business loans from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

Innovate UK Innovation Loans

Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency that supports business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and regions.

GM Business Investment Fund

The Greater Manchester Business Investment Fund is a scheme for local businesses to access investment and financial assistance to promote growth and create jobs.

Alternative funding options

Discover additional business finance options that you can consider when looking to raise funds. 


Bootstrapping typically occurs when starting a business with little or no assets and allows the business to develop without sourcing external capital.


Get in touch

If you would like to know more about how we can help support your journey through financing a small business, get in touch with us today. One of our specialists will be able to discuss what plan is best for you and your business.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Many but not all financial institutions can grant borrowing requests very quickly and with a comparatively minimum level of fuss and information requirement. This is because lenders may rely on the results of a positive credit score and the trends intuitively assessed from an existing client’s bank account operation over the previous (say) 12 months. Such decisions generally relate to lower amount borrowing requests for eligible loan purposes.

Computer driven lending decisions have been prevalent in the UK for well over a decade but there are also still lending organisations which operate with a level of human judgement still part of the underwriting process. The approach adopted by a lender will often dictate the information requested.

Generally speaking for higher monetary value and /or more complexed proposals lenders are entitled to ask borrowers for a comprehensive suite of information which they will assess and evaluate prior to coming to a decision on whether to lend to any business and the individuals behind it.

This is only fair as the lender is often asked to lend not insignificant amounts of money and so there is always an inherent level of risk to that lender; a risk which they would always wish to quantify and mitigate.

Typically information will relate to not only the business but also the principles behind the business. Historical financial information and forecasts are routinely requested, but also personal as well as business bank statements for periods of between 3 months to 12 months; with 3-6 months being the most common request.

Business plans are often requested for clients new to lenders, although borrowing from an existing lender will often negate this particular requirement, with the lending official conducting instead a fact find in order to produce a credit paper.

Credit searches are also routinely taken by the vast majority of lenders, with a varied level of flexibility depending upon the nature of any adverse information revealed.

Lenders information requirements do vary between lenders and so can the pricing of borrowings and the terms and conditions stipulated. 

If your finance is rejected, a request can be made for terms to be negotiated. This may or may not be possible depending upon the lender.

Many lenders are rigid on the pricing they offer and the terms and conditions they stipulate to clients. Often, such finance offers may only be varied by exception.

The phrase "risk and reward" refers to the fact that if a lender is prepared to back a proposition with a higher level of risk, then that risk will often command a reward in terms of a higher interest rate and general pricing. Riskier lending requests in the eyes of the lender may also dictate that pre-drawdown loan conditions and post-drawdown caveats are attached to the lending agreement. This is the lender's prerogative.

 However, borrowers always do have the option of seeking alternative funding arrangements. Shopping around enables comparisons and often achieves a more preferential deal.

Market conditions and economic trends are considered by lenders when setting their lending policies. These relate to factors such as the number of competitors, the state of the economy, and the level of competitiveness at the time of the investment. These will affect the availability and terms of any business finance options available from them at any given time.

Your chances of securing funding will fundamentally come down to your evidencing and ability to service the borrowing being requested from a track record of profitable trading, or perhaps from an increased profitability forecast as a result of deploying the funds being sought.

This is information, not financial advice or recommendations

The content and materials featured or linked to are for your information and education only and are not intended to address your personal or business requirements. 

The information does not constitute financial advice or recommendation and should not be considered as such.

Simplifi is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), its authors are not financial advisors, and it is therefore not authorised to offer financial advice. 

Do your own research and seek independent advice when required 

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