A new initiative aims to improve new start-ups’ ability to access funding in the low-carbon and sustainability projects
Entrepreneurs who are keen to get their solutions to market can often run into difficulties when finding people or organisations to support their business.
Cleantech start-ups aren’t immune to the complexities of finding suitable investors, which seems somewhat contradictory in what has been dubbed “Year of Green Finance” by the UN Environment Programme.
That said, the UK is believed to lead the world in spinning out low-carbon ventures from universities, but lags behind in scale-up performance due to access to finance barriers. In the USA, for example, equivalent companies tend to raise 50 per cent more funding, while only 3 per cent of UK start-ups grow to become midsized ventures, compared with 6 per cent in the US.
A new initiative launched today hopes to reverse this trend and provide new companies access to 84 sources of low carbon funding worth £157m.
Shell Springboard’s Access to Finance Navigator is an interactive, digital database that is expected to help SMEs identify funding opportunities in the low-carbon, cleantech and sustainability sectors.
In use, the Navigator uses a set of questions to help identify the most appropriate financing sources for entrepreneurs’ and SMEs’ needs based on business stage, location, sector, amount needed and preferred type of finance.
Based on these criteria, the online tool then provides information about relevant types of financing, such as angel investment, crowd funding, government grants, venture capital and incubation and investment.
Having selected a specific type of financing, users click through to see all the available sources of that type of financing.