Accountex Summit North: We can all Support Regional Business Growth

With a less tight-knit network of bank branches and lenders outside London and the south-east, businesses in the north of England sometimes struggle to source the right financing. Accountants can play a crucial role in helping these businesses navigate their way through the funding landscape.

Big Projects Need to be Taken on Together

Addressing the regional disparities in access and advice to business finance is a huge undertaking. Last year, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund launched with £400 million of funds, a culmination of the efforts of ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), growth hubs, local intermediaries, including accountants, and many more.

The British Business Bank recently published its Small Business Finance Report, highlighting the importance to tackle regional imbalances in business finance supply. Keith Morgan, British Business Bank CEO, said: “It can’t be overstated how important it is to build a more complete funding ladder for economically important high-growth businesses no matter where they are located.” The north of England has a potential additional £100 billion worth of economic benefit and 850,000 jobs on offer. The benefits to the UK economy as a whole are therefore clear.

Change Starts Locally

But issues such as business financing need to be taken on together. They require change in numerous places, and cannot be addressed with one initiative or by a single entity. Instead, collaboration is the right response.

For example, we here at Spotcap work together with The Growth Hub, pro-manchester, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and several local accountants as well as financial advisers, such as Duff & Phelps, to meet the needs of Manchester businesses. We do this by offering a range of services including financial advice, growth mentoring and access to finance.

In an age of global connectedness, sometimes it is best to think locally first. Strong local business networks and professional connections can provide quick first-hand support and help businesses expand their ambitions, develop and grow.

It’s up to all industry participants to create environments where knowledge, research and best practices can be shared. This will open up doors to expand on current approaches to growth.

Juliette Peyraud is senior account manager at Spotcap UK. Juliette has extensive experience in account management after several years working for multinational corporations. She is currently responsible for managing Spotcap’s growing network of accountants. Juliette regularly travels across the UK to meet accountants and financial advisers who have shown an interest in alternative finance to be able to better advise their clients.

Originally published on Accountex Summit North on 5 March 2018.