The Business Funding Show, held at Old Billingsgate this year, is the only exhibition focused exclusively on business funding and growth support. The show brought together two key groups in the UK economy – entrepreneurs looking for funding and leading finance and service providers.
There was a massive amount of value packed under one roof during the two days, with many providers offering investment and loans, crowdfunding support, business guidance, legal advice and much more.
Celebrated entrepreneurs and investors such as Richard Reed (Innocent), Charlie Mullins (Pimlico Plumbers), and Lord Bilimoria (Cobra Beer) were present to offer guidance to businesses seeking direction.
The show also included workshops, training sessions and one-to-one support, alongside mentoring clinics and lively networking zones.
Thanks to an enthusiastic and engaged audience, my talk on the psychology of pitching for investment went well and it was great to meet so many entrepreneurs and hear stories about the different stages of their journey.
Afterwards, I got a chance to visit the pitching stage and was really impressed with two business founders who were giving a live pitch to a panel of investors.
It was one of the slickest pitches I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a lot)! Without going into too much detail, I noticed that the pitching team did five things that many entrepreneurs neglect to do:
- They kept their pitch short – under 10 minutes
- They clearly defined their USP
- They demonstrated traction
- They knew their numbers
- They understood their market
Oh, and they used many of the triggers of influence I mentioned in my earlier talk. (To find out more about these see my short video course here.)
It’s worth keeping an eye on what’s next for the Business Funding Show. I spoke to the managing director and founder of the event, Arina Osiannaya, while I was there and she and her team are planning many more support events around the topic of funding in the year ahead.
Arina is a real entrepreneur having created the show from just an idea. By building their knowledge of the funding landscape as they planned the show, and engaging an impressive network of contacts, Arina and her team have created a high-value event that will benefit many thousands of entrepreneurs, now and into the future. In the end entrepreneurship comes down to courage and consistent action.
“SMEs represent the backbone of the UK economy yet, according to BIS’ Small Business Survey 2015, only 15% of SMEs are familiar with multiple finance sources and specific providers. This highlights an alarming lack of engagement from the SME sector when it comes to securing the best finance options to grow their businesses.