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Business_woman Business_woman is offline
Starting Out
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 22
Is it a sin to want a business start up fund from the business link!

I went over to my business link today to find out about the london business start up fund which i have been told that i more than qualify for. Only to be told by a very rude fund manager that my business plans were aimed a bit too high. He then went on to tell me that i was not disadvantaged because i have an MBA and would be best adviced to get back to my job and didn't look as if i needed the money because they were aimed for people that are disadvantaged. Further more i was told that my business plan should only be four pages long which is news to me as main stream banks have told me that it should be longer.

I really couldn't believe how someone in such a sensitive position could be so rude. My anger over this matter is that if i needed a loan to startup a hairdressing salon or plumbing service there would be a lot of help available to me but with setting up a management consultancy and having an MBA i am aiming a bit too high and there is no help available to me. The injustice of this is really not right. I am going to register a complaint against the fund manager because he has no right to be so negative towards my business idea or anybody's for that matter.

What i would like to find out is that are there anymoreyoung people out there that have experinced this injustice in your quest to get a business loan from the business link.
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austin austin is offline
Entrepreneur
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Warickshire
Posts: 42
Hello there,

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. The business link have no right to make such a comment without basis. They should have explained what they didn't like about your plan and given helpful suggestions.
I think with management consultancy experince is really crucial. It's great that you have an MBA, but do you also have experince with being 'out there'? Maybe they were concerned that you were after a market with which you had little experince and understanding. I'm sure this is not the case but that's a possible reason

The business plan needs to be simple, but long enough to explain the 'what', 'why'. and 'how'. To say that it should be a particular number of pages seems a little stupid since every business is different

good luck
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natalie's Avatar natalie natalie is offline
Maven
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: London
Posts: 55
Hi,

I recently applied for a business loan from Business Link (via a company called OneLondon) and it was refused. I have not had any major problems with Business Link and the adviser I spoke with was very nice and helpful. However, everyone is different and I am sorry that you had problems.

Don't let this put you off and continue your search for funds. There is definitely money out there, it's just finding it!


Natalie Brown
NLB Travel
www.nlbtravel.co.uk
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nickgeorge nickgeorge is offline
Newbie
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2
Hello. I was concerned and very sorry to read of your recent experiences in applying for a business loan from Business Link. This is particularly so as I joined Business Link after my MBA and have run my own business previously!!

I would like to find a bit more about this. Would you be kind enough to forward me your email address and any further details that you may consider relevant? I am also very happy to have look at your business plan if this might help.

Whilst I do not directly manage business loan funds, I can promise that I will look into this matter thoroughly for you. Having seen BL's "Customer First" team in action I can assure you that experiences like yours should be very rare indeed. It is certainly not a "sin" to apply for a business loan and it is our aim to make dealing with BL (or one of our partners) a constructive, informative and courteous expereince.

Please drop me a line at ngeorge@bl4london.com

Regards

Nick George
Start-Up Development Manager
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KevinL KevinL is offline
Entrepreneur
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 46
Business Link, everyone's favourite love/hate subject. Some are great some are just diaboical.

Having an MBA you must be pretty intelligent and have a pretty good grasp of business so i wouldn't tkae too much notice of them. You will know your Business Plan needs to be a hell of a lot longer than 4 pages so what and idiot for telling you that. Perhaps you were aiming too high. A lot of people who go into business for the first time do think that in a year or so they will be ruling the world and have made millions of pounds in profit, I have seen it so many times so perhaps yours was a little like that but like I said with your MBA, you should have a pretty good idea of what is realistic.

I can see how you may be viewed as disadvantaged for having the qualifications you have as an MBA means you have an excellent uinderstanding of business and this includes raising finance. Business Link tend to be there to help people who don't know where to turn whereas you should have a pretty good idea.

Whatever your experience, don't be put off by idiots like that, there's always someone out there willing to help you so just keep trying.
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Business_woman Business_woman is offline
Starting Out
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 22
Thanks all for your heart felt reply to my mail it was very much appreciated. I would not let my nasty experince at my local business link put me off starting up my own business because i do believe that it was a one off event.

Please nick could you please, please, please, reply to my mail as i would really like to speak to you with regards to other types of fundings which i could be entitled to.

Kind regards
Claudia
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nickgeorge nickgeorge is offline
Newbie
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2
My pleasure Claudia! Please now check the email address supplied, for my response.

I hope this helps

Best

Nick George

Business Link for London
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R.E.D R.E.D is offline
Maven
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: East Anglia UK
Posts: 92
Buisness

I am looking to stat up a buisness in the plumbing industry if anyone is interested I thought more on the lines of plumbing distribution (i.e. Taking products from manufactures storing them in a warehouse and then distributing them to where they need to go e.g. Trades like plubers themselves)

Please see my Form entitled: Plumbing Enterprise For more info or contact me direct.
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anuschka's Avatar anuschka anuschka is offline
Maven
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: London
Posts: 98
Hi Claudia!
Also, I went on a business plan writing course of the THRESHOLD TRAINING (linked to Prince's Trust), and they had a list with a lot of organisations that provide funds and loans. If you would like to know more, you can drop me a line, or put something up on here, or contact them directly, maybe they will send the list out to you without attending the course.
Good luck!
Anuschka
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