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Shell LiveWIRE Research: Innovative business idea, but no cash?

Mon, 16 November 2015

Shell LiveWIRE research shows access to finance is a key challenge for entrepreneurs starting-up
Shell LiveWIRE research shows access to finance is a key challenge for entrepreneurs starting-up
 
How much money do you think it takes to start a business? Fifty thousand pounds? A hundred thousand?  
 
According to a recent Shell LiveWIRE poll, many successful entrepreneurs start their businesses on a shoestring. Over a quarter of the Shell LiveWIRE entrepreneurs polled spent £1,000 or less on their business during the first year of launching. Another quarter spent between £1,000 and £5,000. 
How much did you spend launching your startup? 
 
So if you are fresh out of university or simply aren’t in the position to save much money, this doesn’t have to be a barrier to getting your foot thorough the entrepreneurial door. 
 
It is, however, a different story if you need to scale-up. Finance becomes increasingly important as you proceed to develop and test prototypes, reach out to your customers, invest in marketing and hire talented staff. It therefore comes as no surprise that when asked which business development area entrepreneurs require most support with in order to successfully grow their start-up, over 60% said that identifying and securing funding is the key challenge hindering their business ambitions. 
 
How important is it that your start-up creates social value? 
 
However, it’s not just about the money. Honing entrepreneurial skills, learning the art of strategic business planning and understanding marketing and publicity tactics were also identified as priority business development areas. Having someone by your side throughout this journey to share the responsibilities can help: while over half of respondents launched their businesses alone, more than 70% recommend starting-up with a co-founder as a way to widen the company’s skills set and get more support. 
 
Did you launch your business alone or with a co-founder?
That’s why our Shell LiveWIRE programme delivers an integrated approach to developing the innovation pipeline by supporting UK entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas. The programme offers monthly start-up grants, business coaching and online business advice, alongside publicity and networking opportunities to 16-30 year-old entrepreneurs whose start-up business ideas help create a more sustainable and efficient future. 
 
And that’s also why we partnered this year with the youth entrepreneurship arm of the Institute of Directors (IoD) to offer three of our survey respondents annual memberships to the prestigious, members-only IoD 99 network. Alex Mitchell, Chair of the IoD 99 and founder of Causarma, had this to say about the research findings:
 
'Having worked with hundreds of young entrepreneurs, I have seen in practice how difficult it can be to get noticed in the business world. Starting up is relatively easy. But getting the right support for your business to grow – from finance, to supply chain management and HR – is a significant barrier that many young businesses are unable to overcome. 
 
Knowing the right people can make this scale-up journey easier. And that’s what the Institute of Directors aims to facilitate, with the IoD 99 focusing specifically on the young entrepreneurs.' 
 
The IoD 99 is an exclusive group for young entrepreneurs from across the UK to network together and support each other's growth. Visit the IoD 99 website to find out more.
 
To join the ranks of Shell LiveWIRE entrepreneurs and to reap the rewards of the programme, which include a £5,000 no-strings-attached grant, Shell senior leader coaching and an opportunity to receive funding towards your international business travel through the Shell LiveWIRE Let’s Go Trade programme, apply here
 
(The study was conducted among 241 members of the Shell LiveWIRE entrepreneur community in July-August 2015) 

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