Starting out on your own in business is not always easy. That’s why Britain’s banks are working closely with business angel networks, community finance institutions and the Start-Up Loans Company, a Government-backed initiative.

High Street Banks

Barclays: Every other working minute a new business opens an account with us. That’s because we offer much more than you’d expect from a new business account. Read more

HSBC: Starting a business? We’ll help make it easier. Reduce start-up costs with 18 months free business banking. Free business planning tools. Award-winning service and online banking. Read more

Lloyds: Business Account for start-ups. We understand how daunting starting your own business can be, that’s why we’ll give you a named manager to support you, a range of free guidance services to get you off on the right foot, and 18 months free* day-to-day banking; so you can spend less time worrying about your banking and more time building your business. Read more

Royal Bank of Scotland: At RBS we understand the challenges that new businesses face in tough economic times. And we’re committed to helping you achieve your ambitions and provide the practical tools you need to plan, run and promote your business. Read more

Santander: When you’re starting out in business, the last thing you want to be worried about is your current account. So we’ve made it simple for you – you pay nothing for day-to-day banking for up to 18 months. Read more

The Start Up Loans Company

The Start Up Loans Company is a government-funded initiative to help provide finance to and mentor young entrepreneurs. They will work with you to develop your idea, and then help you present it to a panel to pitch for a low-cost unsecured loan, business mentoring and a range of business products. The average amount lent is around £4,500, which you’ll need to repay within 5 years at a fixed-rate of interest – currently 6 per cent.

Click here to visit the Start Up Loans Company

Business Angels

The UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) represents around 100 organisations including the vast majority of business angel networks across the UK, more than 20 early stage venture capital funds and professional service providers and advisers including accountancy and law firms, corporate finance, banks, regional development agencies, universities and public policy‐makers. They are mostly interested at high growth businesses.

Click here to visit Business Angels

Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs)

CDFIs are social enterprises that support deprived and undeserved areas by providing affordable finance where it is needed the most.

Click here to read more about CDFIs

Before approaching a lender you should consider the following questions. They are the four questions a lender is most likely to ask and will influence the success of your application.

  1. What sort of business are you planning to run?
  2. How much finance do you think you will you need?
  3. How long do you think you will need finance for?
  4. Are you, your friends or your family putting money into the business?

Your business plan should contain the answers you need.

Click here for a guide on how to write a business plan

As you begin to approach potential lenders, it is important to consider what you might be asked and properly research what you will need. It is often helpful to talk through your plans. If you know you want to apply for funding but are unsure about the next steps there are many professional and business organisations that can outline and discuss your options. You could also consider approaching a mentor via the Mentorsme network.

Click here to visit Mentorsme