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June 2016





Businesses in the ‘growth spurt’ show confidence in investment


ESPITE THE challenges that have faced UK businesses in recent years, they continue to be resilient. Research commissioned by Lombard, the UK’s largest asset finance provider, shows that confidence and investment levels remain high. It also indicates that UK businesses are aware of what they need to do to generate growth. Investment in innovation, improved productivity and establishing strong export

need to grow straight away, and pay for it from the cash flow it generates. Asset finance already funds 32 per cent of UK investment in machinery, equipment and software, accounting for nearly £30billion per year. What’s more, once a business uses asset finance, they tend to use it again. Lombard has more than 150 years’ experience, and a team of 500 relationship managers UK-wide, focused on developing in-depth knowledge of their customers and the market

markets continue to play a key role in helping UK businesses stay competitive. In fact, more than half (56 per cent) of respondents surveyed said that, had they not invested in 2015, their business would have suffered.

in which they operate. This helps them to offer the right form of financing to support your business’s ambitions. Lombard is working with businesses to provide an understanding of how asset finance can support growth.

Businesses are turning to crowdfunding for finance


NTREPRENEURS AND start-ups are increasingly turning to crowdfunding to raise funds. Alternative finance is now a global phenomenon, with $34billion raised in 2015 and 200 per cent growth year on year. Since the financial crisis in 2008, banks have dramatically decreased lending, and it has become increasingly problematic and challenging to take a business from concept to fruition. Lack of financing, difficulties in fundraising and a grassroots approach to entrepreneurship has created a natural attraction for crowdfunding, and while the world has changed in this regard, the mentality of bank lending has not. In April this year a new innovative online crowdfunding platform, LEOcrowd, was launched in the heart of London’s Tech City, the hub of the business start-up community. LEOcrowd is built on an incentive-based model enabling start-ups and SMEs to raise funds without giving away equity. “LEOcrowd is a community devoted to bringing creative ideas or start-up businesses to life,” said LEOcrowd managing director David Johnstone. “We bring together those start-ups or SME businesses that have a project, product or creative idea together with people that are willing to financially back such projects. I am confident that LEOcrowd will help launch tens of thousands of businesses around the world. Our mission is to set entrepreneurial spirits free, and we aspire to be the world’s leading incubator for businesses around the globe.”

How does LEOcrowd support projects? Firstly, LEOcrowd has a comprehensive training platform, with a detailed eCourse complete with videos and PDFs that is unrivalled in the industry. It also hosts networking and educational events on a regular basis. Secondly, LEOcrowd facilitates payment through digital currencies such as Bitcoin or LEOcoin, as well as traditional currencies. Access to digital currency fundraising will enable projects to be more global and breaks down financial barriers.

Thirdly, LEOcrowd partners with established business and entrepreneurial organisations to help provide planning, strategy and delivery for the projects.

Educating entrepreneurs The LEOcrowd platform was born out of Learning Enterprises Organisation Ltd (LEO), a global online business training company. LEO’s “learn, earn, own” business philosophy empowers entrepreneurs through resources and education to give them the tools necessary to be a success. Co-founders Dan Andersson and Atif Kamran have built a global membership base of more than 200,000 entrepreneurs in over 140 countries. The education platform moves LEOcrowd closer to a business incubator than just another crowdfunding site.

Successful projects LEOcrowd has already successfully funded a number of projects. One that reached its target was Artwars, by London-based curator Ben Moore. “LEOcrowd helped me fund my latest exhibition of Star Wars Stormtrooper helmets, and I found the process straightforward.” Another project that reached its funding target was Smoove, a small team of vegan enthusiasts whose aim is to create five simple and delicious protein mixes. Owner Scarlet Wilderlink highlighted the support she received. “This was my first crowdfunding project so I was a little apprehensive,” she said. “But LEOcrowd’s Sophia Lourenco visited our premises to better understand our business and then helped us build a social media presence. The funding we received from the LEOcrowd platform is helping us get our new business off the ground.” LEOcrowd is proving to be more than just another crowdfunding platform. INDUSTRY VIEW

If you want to discuss launching a project or partnership contact the LEOcrowd team: david@LEOcrowd.com www.LEOcrowd.com

Lombard helps to support your business ambitions


Asset finance could help your business to become more productive, efficient and competitive. One of the key benefits is that your business could buy the equipment you

Visit www.lombard.co.uk Follow @LombardAF Security may be required. Product fees may apply.

1. Lombard’s ‘Attitudes to Business Investment’ was conducted by Research Now and published in March 2016 2. Financing and Lease Association market trends – www.fla.org.uk/index.php/research/asset

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