Exploring crowdfunding at latest Chamber breakfast

PUBLISHED: 14:30 20 October 2014 | UPDATED: 14:30 20 October 2014

Nicola Horlick

Nicola Horlick

Archant

There are some great new businesses opening in St Albans, with lots of retail units filling up around the town.

Chris Wallace, Visionary AccountantsChris Wallace, Visionary Accountants

Prime Steak, The Entertainer, Dunkin Donuts and Beech House all opened their doors over the last month and are doing very well already. It’s great to see these businesses investing in and choosing St Albans as a good destination to trade.

The Chamber has lots going on during the autumn with various networking opportunities including the a networking lunch at Thompson@ Darcy’s on Friday November 7 and then our annual Chamber Ball on November 22 at Sopwell House Hotel. This event has been sponsored by Barclays PLC, we are very pleased to be working with them and we are very grateful for their support. The Chamber is a not for profit organisation so sponsorship is vital to help us provide high calibre events for the business community.

Tickets are available and there are also tables of 10 on sale now on the Chamber website.

We are all very excited about the second St Albans Fashion Week from October 27 to November 2 with over 30 local events to enjoy. The highlight for me last year was the cathedral catwalk show, so this year I am taking part!

St Albans Chamber of Commerce business breakfastSt Albans Chamber of Commerce business breakfast

This is a brilliant opportunity for our independent fashion and beauty retailers to showcase their work and we look forward to a truly fabulous event on October 31. If you haven’t got a ticket yet contact the girls at St Albans Fashion Week HQ in French Row, St Albans or go to www.stalbansfashionweek.com

Crowdfunding came to St Albans for breakfast last week. A select Money & Co. team, headed by chief executive Nicola Horlick, spread the word to 101 attendees at a very engaging and interesting event hosted by the Chamber and sponsored by Visionary Accountants.

Nicola said: “Debt is a dirty word in business, but debt is a perfectly reasonable position at a certain point in a company’s evolution. Companies love our approach to debt and are flocking to our doors.”

92 per cent of SME debt is from banks in the UK and only 8 per cent from alternative finance. It will be interesting to see how this changes over the coming years as confidence grows in crowdfunding across the country.

The crowdfunding concept has created a real sense of business community, and the message is simple - Money & Co say: “We bring people together with businesses - so that businesses can get the funds they need to grow, and individual investors and lenders can get a good return on their money. Surveys show that no more than four per cent of the general population understand crowdfunding - so we have a mission to explain and inform.”

So what is crowdfunding? It is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet.

The crowdfunding model is fuelled by three types of actors: the project initiator who proposes the idea and/or project to be funded; individuals or groups who support the idea; and a moderating organization (the “platform”) that brings the parties together to launch the idea.

Paul Marsden, chief executive of Harpenden Building Society, said: “Person-to-business funding represents an opportunity for investors to enjoy commercial interest rate returns, whilst providing access to much-needed finance for the SME market. It will be interesting to see how this activity matures over the next few years.”

Crowdfunded loans provide much better returns than deposits – but what about the other issues, including security and access and yield for investors? For more information contact www.moneyandco.com

Full details of all our forthcoming events and news can be found on our website and follow @stalbanschamber on Twitter for all our latest news and information affecting the business community.

For more information about joining the Chamber of Commerce and becoming a member go to www.stalbans-chamber.co.uk/join-us/


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