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Ambitions to Grow

Caroline Williams, Business Development Manager, Business Support Kent (BSK)

Times may be tough but many charities, small business and social enterprises still have a real drive and passion to push forward with new ideas and opportunities.

But it isn’t always easy.  Whatever your organisation, it’s vital to have a really clear plan of what you are going to do, where growth is going to come from, to understand your cashflow and be able to construct a good case for why a financial investor should back you.

You need to understand what they are looking for - and have all of this in place before you make an approach.  This is the same whether you are talking to a bank, an angel investor, peer-to-peer lending, or wanting to take advantage of the Expansion East Kent Loans.  As well as the all important business plan, investors also buy into people and expertise.  So when you are making your application, do include relevant details about your team; make the most of their experience.

If you are looking for some extra help, High Growth Kent Coaches are available as a free resource for local businesses and are funded to support rapidly growing small companies in the county.  BSK-CiC also provides guidance through their ‘Finance Finder’ or ‘Get Funded’, the latter developed for public organisations and charities wanting to review and apply for alternative funding streams.

But being ambitious is not just about the money!  It’s also about new ideas, new markets and new ways of working.  For many companies some of the most exciting changes come through business collaboration, be that with peers, suppliers or customers.

Through the Kent County Council funded High Growth Kent coaches, BSK has supported many companies to find the money they need.

If you want to get involved with local companies, the local Chambers and IOD run events.  For anybody interested in trading in Europe, Enterprise Europe Network is free to small businesses.

To find out more about Kent’s High Growth Coaches or Finance Finder visit www.highgrowthkent.co.uk. Details of how to join the Enterprise Europe Network are available at www.enterpriseeurope-se.eu