Rapid growth start-ups need to seek alternatives to bank finance

Justin Urquhart Stewart
Justin Urquhart Stewart
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One of the UK investment industry’s leading lights is urging South Yorkshire companies to look for new sources of finance after warning that banks won’t start lending to them again any time soon.

Justin Urquhart-Stewart, founder of the £4.4 billion fund Seven Investment Management, was speaking to 60 high-growth SMEs that are part of the Yorkshire Connect Gazelles group.

“As banks supporting businesses with investment are not coming back anytime soon it’s important to consider alternative sources such as crowdfunding – using small amounts of capital from a large number of individuals - and peer-to-peer lending,” said Mr Urquhart-Stewart.

“It’s a brave new world and it needs new approaches and methodologies; those businesses which embrace that mindset will survive and thrive.”

Mr Urquhart-Stewart said the UK’s road back to economy success would be a “long and winding” road.

“It may be slow but there is much to be confident about with UK employment growing, the national debt is reducing, Europe is healing, business start-ups are increasing and business owner confidence is on the up,” he added.

Connect Gazelles is a not-for-profit support group for SMEs with 200 members in Yorkshire and can call on a group of more than 30 of Yorkshire’s most successful entrepreneurs who help, advise and mentor member businesses, free of charge.