Shell Springboard, our low-carbon enterprise support programme in the UK, has launched the Access to Finance Navigator – an interactive, digital database to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) identify funding opportunities in the low-carbon, clean tech and sustainability sectors.
Finding money to scale-up a business is hard and navigating the complex landscape of various funding opportunities – extremely time consuming. To help entrepreneurs overcome these challenges, the Navigator pulls together over 100 sector-specific funding sources, including governmental organisations, venture capital funds, angel investment groups and crowdfunding platforms. Results are filtered according to each user’s business sector, stage of development and financial requirements, making it quicker and easier for entrepreneurs to identify the most relevant options.
The Access to Finance Navigator was launched at a finance masterclass hosted by Shell Technology Ventures at Make the Future London – a festival of ideas and innovation that supports bright energy ideas. Alongside our wider enterprise development programmes – such as Shell LiveWIRE and Shell Springboard – this tool provides the type of support low-carbon businesses in the UK are seeking.
Solveiga Pakštaitė, winner of a Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award and the 2016 Shell Staff Inspiration Award for her food expiry label BumpMark, commented:
“For a start-up business to get off the ground, funding is key. Understanding which funding sources are best for your business and navigating the huge range of funding resources available can take as much time as applying for the money itself. Shell Springboard’s Access to Finance Navigator is a great idea and will make it much easier for entrepreneurs in the sustainability and low carbon sectors to find the funds they need. It’s hugely valuable.”
A joint report from Shell Springboard and Imperial College London highlighted the difficulty in accessing finance for UK low-carbon SMEs. US equivalents typically raise 50% more funding, while only 3% of UK start-ups grow to become midsized ventures, compared with 6% in the US.
Commenting on the launch of The Navigator at Make the Future London, Erik Bonino, Chairman of Shell UK and Executive Vice President Downstream Technology, said:
“Shell Springboard provides low-carbon entrepreneurs with a vital foothold on the funding ladder, but for many this is just the start of a journey to secure the finance they need. Finding people or organisations to support new businesses is complex and time consuming. To help navigate the funding landscape, we developed the Access to Finance Navigator with experts in finance and the low-carbon sectors. Alongside our wider enterprise development programmes, this provides the type of support low-carbon businesses in the UK are seeking.”
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