A Guide to Commercial Alternative Finance

Born in the United States of America, the alternative finance revolution has landed on our shores in the last couple of years and raising finance for the SME will never quite be the same again.  It is forecast that by the end of 2015, the altfi market place will have issued new loans of well in excess of £4 billion.

Gone are the days of going cap in hand to the business banker clutching armfuls of finger in the air financial projections produced, at cost, by your accountant.  Gone also are the days of waiting interminable amounts of time jumping through endless banking hoops whilst our “local” banker presents funding cases to far flung decision makers.  Gone are the days of being forced to proffer more and more personal security to support the funding requests of a growing company.

With the SME denied the help of traditional banks, largely due to the outcome of the 2008 crash and the impact of the Basle Accords on bank liquidity ratios, but with demand for vital sources of working capital still there, the number of alternative finance providers ready to plug funding gaps has grown apace.

Businesses come in all shapes, sizes and hues and, as a consequence, every business has its own unique funding requirements.  Alternative finance providers have emerged to focus on specific segments within the SME funding mix.  This is great news for the SME exploring its funding options, but the myriad of potential solutions does create its own challenges and the plethora of new players delivering multiple options can make it somewhat overwhelming for the uninitiated to tread a well planned path through the maze of new finance providers.

In an unstable economic climate banks are less likely to lend – especially to risky business investments. In today’s unpredictable financial market, it is becoming more and more difficult to get approved for a bank loan, which is why the trend for alternative finance solutions keeps on growing. Without these alternative funding options, many businesses would have ceased trading or would-be successful property investors wouldn’t have been able to buy a second property. Read more