Help the economy. Invest.
Personal Tax-Free Account
You will soon be able to open an ISA account at Funding Circle, which means your returns will be tax-free.
The subscription is 15,240 for the 2016/17 tax year across all ISAs. You will also be able to transfer ISAs from previous years into your Funding Circle ISA .
Martin Lewis, writing about his Funding Circle Experience
Funding Circle has been the most lucrative [peer-to-peer platform]. Since I joined in August 2012, drip-feeding cash in, my returns, after all fees and bad debt adjustment, have been 6.2pc. I didn t pick individual borrowers, I just used Autobid . October 2013
Our experienced credit assessment team review every application and only allow established and creditworthy businesses to borrow through Funding Circle. However, it s important to remember that some businesses will not be able to fully repay their loan. We call this a bad debt.
Diversification is the best way to manage risk. This simply means spreading your lending across hundreds of businesses, so you re only lending a small amount to each one.
It only takes a few minutes to register.
How do I become diversified?
- Lend to at least 100 businesses
- Lend no more than 1% of your total to each one
Every investor who has followed these 2 simple steps has earned a positive return (1 January 2016).
We ve built an easy tool to help you diversify, just look out for Autobid in your account.
We re transparent
About our fees
1% Annual Servicing Fee
Based on the amount outstanding on any loan and collected when the borrower makes a payment.
0.25% Sale Fee
Payable if you sell any of your loan parts to other investors.
And about our performance
We publish all performance information, including the all time actual return across all investors and our bad debt rates on our statistics page. You can also keep up to date with your own investment by logging into your account.
As featured in
Some traditional banks are unaware of the competition they face and the way upstarts such as Funding Circle are disrupting bank lending.
Lending marketplaces such as Funding Circle have gained the trust of consumers by offering transparency and providing lower rates than banks to borrowers.
This month the FCA began regulating the sector for the first time, giving it an official stamp of approval.
Within an hour of posting on Funding Circle, the company met its target. By the end of the week, they had raised 75,000 from 600 investors at a competitive rate.
Have any questions?
Download our free investor guide to read more about how it works and important information about lending through Funding Circle.
It only takes a few minutes to register.
*The current estimated return is an estimate of the annual return after fees and bad debts that investors could earn from lending money to businesses seeking loans today. It is calculated by taking the gross interest rate less fees and estimated bad debts that will occur in the future for each of the last 100 loans accepted on the marketplace. The average return is compounded and before tax. The return is updated daily. See the full calculation here .
** Funding Circle is supported by the British Business Bank, a development bank wholly owned by the UK Government. In 2014, the Government-backed British Business Bank Investment Programme invested 40 million alongside other investors, to support economic growth by providing more efficient finance to small businesses.
The British Business Bank and its subsidiaries do not offer bank accounts, take deposits or provide regulated banking services. The British Business Bank provides its financial support to smaller businesses through its delivery partners. Any decisions to provide finance to smaller businesses are made by Funding Circle not by the British Business Bank.
investors in the UK
have lent to businesses
lent to British businesses
Investment through Funding Circle involves lending to small and medium sized businesses, so your investment can go down as well as up.
Funding Circle Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under firm registration number 635439. Funding Circle is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Registered in England (Co. No. 06968588) with registered office at 71 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 4AY.
Copyright Funding Circle 2016. All rights reserved
In a competitive market place, every second your brand spends in the spotlight is crucial. Whenever you send a letter or invoice, make sure your business stationery works hard to create the right perception of your company.
Strong corporate identity plays a key role in business success – so consistent, quality business stationery is essential in building your reputation.
At Copy Color, we can provide branded notepads and folders for you to take to client meetings, headed paper for official letters and invoices, plus compliments slips to include with any outgoing mail.
With fast turnaround business card printing available too, you can have your full suite of business stationery delivered and ready to use as early as tomorrow.
The only printer you’ll need for all your business stationery
Across the board, we provide premium grade materials and cutting-edge digital print technology to ensure consistency in all your stationery. We are able to take care of your marketing campaigns, as well as your business stationery requirements.You’ll only ever need to deal with one printer.
Whether you’re an established firm that’s just re-branded, or you’re just starting out on a brand new business venture, trust Copy Color to get your professionalism down on paper.
5 low cost business ideas to start at university: Starting a business advice and
#business ideas for college students
5 low cost business ideas to start at university
Some of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs started businesses while at university; Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Larry Page – the list goes on – so what’s stopping you from starting up whilst studying?
According to recent research from Santander. over 80,000 UK university students currently run businesses while studying and collectively generate turnover of over £44m. Impressive to say the least. What’s more, over a quarter of this number plan to turn their businesses into a full-time career upon graduation.
Action point: Need a loan to start a business of your own? See how we can help here and here
Dubbed “student start-ups”, budding young entrepreneurs are maximising on being within the university environment to launch a start-up and fund their education, pursue interests, and gain “invaluable work experience as a result of their entrepreneurial ventures”.
A report from Direct Line for Business also emphasised the fact that entrepreneurialism is alive and kicking in UK universities. It found that more students than ever before are now starting businesses, with popular undergraduate start-ups ranging from creative businesses like clothing design, to hospitality and events promotion and tech-focused firms such as software development.
And it would seem that there has never been a better time to start a business while at university, if the growing number of initiatives to encourage student entrepreneurs are anything to go by.
Earlier this year, Europe’s largest student start-up event opened in Liverpool hosted by the National Association of College University Entrepreneurs (NACUE), Mercia Fund Management launched a tax efficient fund for university spin-outs, and a number of universities have been actively doing their bit to promote enterprise. For instance the University of Southampton recently held a student hackathon to find great software concepts.
With 2015 a golden age for student entrepreneurs, we’ve compiled a guide to five of the top low-cost businesses to start at university, including case study examples from a number of high-profile university entrepreneurs that have scaled their ideas into successful businesses.
To help you get your university venture off the ground, you’ll also find a handy summary of the funding and support that is available to student and young entrepreneurs in the UK.
Click the buttons above or below to find out more about the best low cost business ideas to start while at university…
Useful business start up tools
Forum post of the week
More business ideas.
Want to run a more profitable business?
More from Startups
#harvard business journal
Q. How do I cite a case study in Harvard Business Review?
Harvard Business Review – Case Studies
This format would apply to any business case including Harvard Business Review, Ivey and MIT Sloane cases:
Author(s). Name of the case. Business Case. City. Publisher. Date. Format (Print or Web) If your format is Web include the date it was accessed.
Yoffe, David B. and Renee Kim. Apple Inc in 2010. Case Study. Boston. Harvard Business Publishing, 2010. Web. 28 October 2010.
Harvard Business School Case Study
Citation elements required and general format:
Author(s). (Year). Title of case study. HBS No. number of case study. City, State abbreviation or Country of publication: Publisher.
Smith, S. (2003). Leadership. HBS No. 7-806-122. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.
Eisenmann, T. Herman, K. (2006). Google, Inc. HBS No. 9-806-105. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.
In-text citation examples Harvard Business School Case Study
APA in-text citations include the author s last name, the year of publication, and the page number (for quotes), either as part of the text of your paper or in parentheses.
as the case study concluded (Smith, 2003, p. 6).
Smith reported (2003, p. 6) that the data was flawed.
Eisenmann and Herman did agree on the research findings (2006, p. 11).
as both researchers agreed (Eisenmann Herman, 2006, p. 11).
Home Business Simulations Ready to Run Business Simulation Courses
Ready to Run Business Simulation Courses
PriSim® has several ready-to-run business simulations. Each course is available for immediate delivery and can be enhanced through customized course add-ons. Many of our clients choose to begin with an existing course and later evaluate the benefits of building a customized business simulation training course.
Manufacturing Business Simulation Mini-MBA
The Mini-MBA in Strategy and Finance is a high-energy business exercise consisting of a computerized business simulation, content lectures, pen-and-paper activities, and group discussions.
The course gives participants the opportunity to enhance their understanding of core business disciplines. This is accomplished by immersing participants in a complex business case study in which they directly apply the course concepts.
A D Business Simulation BizFighter
Over a period of several days, course participants will be introduced to the fundamental business tools needed to achieve long-term profitability and competitive advantage. Participants will be challenged to apply these tools in a computer-simulated environment (a “virtual” Aerospace Defense company), where their performance will be evaluated by a marketplace that has been created by competing teams.
Insurance Business Simulation Insurance Challenge!
A Management and Leadership Development Course for the Insurance Industry
Over a period of several days, course participants will be introduced to the fundamental business tools needed to achieve long-term profitability and competitive advantage. Participants will be challenged to apply these tools in a business simulation (a “virtual” Insurance Carrier/Agency) where their performance will be evaluated by a marketplace that has been created by competing teams.
Insurance Agency Simulation Agency Challenge!
Over a period of several days, course participants will be introduced to the fundamental business tools needed to achieve long-term profitability and competitive advantage in running an insurance agency. Participants will be challenged to apply these tools in a computer-simulated environment (a “virtual” Agency) where their performance will be evaluated by a marketplace that has been created by competing teams.
Heavy Equipment Simulation Test Drive
Over a period of several days, course participants will be introduced to the fundamental business tools needed to achieve long-term profitability and competitive advantage. Participants will be challenged to apply these tools in a business simulation (a “virtual” heavy equipment dealership), where their performance will be evaluated by a marketplace that has been created by competing participant teams.
Mortgage Banking Simulation Cycloan
Over a period of several days, course participants will be introduced to the fundamental business tools needed to achieve a long-term competitive advantage. Participants will be challenged to apply these tools in a computer-simulated environment, where their performance will be evaluated by a marketplace that has been created by competing participant teams.
eBusiness Simulation IMPACT
PriSim® has several ready-to-run training courses available for immediate delivery. Our IMPACT course is described below; on the right we list ways that our clients enhance their PriSim courses.
Many clients choose to begin with an existing course and later evaluate the benefits of building a customized simulation training course.
Magazine Publishing Simulation MAGnate
With over 800 new publications entering the market every year, what are you doing to ensure that your publication stays ahead of the competition?
MAGnate. an interactive business exercise, allows participants to make decisions such as these without risking the reputation and earnings of your organization!
Client Comment: PriSim® delivers the Aerospace Defense Business Simulation – BizFighter ™ for Northrop Grumman Corporation. The course focuses on strategic, financial, program management, and EVM tools and approaches that are critical for the company s developing executives to understand and utilize in their jobs. Senior executives also address the group and participate in detailed discussions of the firm s
About PriSim Business War Games
PriSim® is an industry leader in customized, computerized business simulation games, management training, leadership training, management simulation training, and finance for non-financial managers. Our industry-specific business simulations include: Insurance Challenge™, Agency Challenge™, BizFighter™, Cycloan™, Mini-MBA™ Business Course, DealerSim™, Deep Pockets™, Impact™, MAGnate™, and Redline™
#business website design
Think of your company’s website as a first impression for potential future clients. Is it easy to navigate, and does it clearly convey your business’s products and services? If not, visitors may lose interest and abandon your site, which will not add up to repeat customers.
Scott Prindle, VP/Executive Creative Technology Director, and Winston Binch, Partner/Managing Director of Interactive at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the famed Miami-based advertising and design agency, offer their advice to small business owners on how to design the best website for their small business, and ensure that visitors keep coming back.
Small Business Website Design: Make It Clear to Visitors What Business You Are In
Since you only have a few seconds to engage your visitors and keep them on your site, it’s important that your value proposition and intent be clear the instant customers hit your homepage, says Binch. Great visual design, animation, and pretty pictures can always enhance a website, but you need to take your business’s message into consideration, too.
‘Don’t underestimate the expressive power of simple language,’ Binch says. ‘For example, take a look at Facebook’s homepage; they do a really good job of making their service obvious the moment you arrive. Since the first text you see on the login page proclaims, Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life. it’s pretty hard to confuse what they’re selling.’
Small Business Website Design: Make Your Website Easy to Use
If you’re building something from scratch, the first step is to ensure you have the right minds working on the project. Most importantly, it’s crucial you have both information architects and technical developers front and center of the creative development process. They will be there not only to contribute conceptual ideas but also to help you present users with an experience that is efficient and pleasant from a user flow, navigation, and technical perspective.
‘The Internet is cluttered with bad websites,’ Binch says. Make yours one of the most usable, and you’ll attract an audience and form lasting relationships with your customers.’ He recommends that your website focus on easy-to-use site navigation and on creating pages that achieve quick download times. Readable text throughout, and share functionality (which will allow a user to post something from your site on Twitter or Facebook) is a helpful addition, too, he adds.
Dig Deeper: Has Your Business Outgrown Its Web Developer?
Small Business Website Design: Don’t Underestimate SEO
According to Prindle, if you’re site is not search-engine optimized, you’re basically cutting off almost all possibility for organic traffic or chance encounters with your brand. If you let your idea ultimately guide the technology solution, that’s a start, but you’ll want to make sure it works well with leading search engines, including Google, Yahoo, and Bing. At a minimum, be sure that you’ve generated a site map, and your title tags, heading titles, and site description are filled out appropriately.
‘If your budget allows for it, get an SEO company or a consultant to do a quick audit of your site,’ Prindle advises. ‘There are always optimizations to be made, and you should always be looking at ways to improve your search ranking.’ Additionally, if you are a new company, you should consider buying sponsored link placements through popular search engines. ‘It’s a good way to attract new users right out of the gates,’ he says.
Dip Deeper: How to Improve Your Website’s Search Ranking
Small Business Website Design: Give Your Brand A Soul
Many corporate websites lack soul. They tend to use stock imagery, business jargon, static content, and generic web design – all of which undermines the user experience. That’s a serious problem, Binch says, because your site plays a crucial branding role, serving as the digital interface between your customers and your company, product, and services. The best way to create a positive branding experience is to be yourself: Be transparent, speak to your customers on a real-time basis, and let them connect with each other through your brand.
‘A company like Zappos is not just selling a solid e-commerce product,” Binch says. “It is also selling a culture of innovation and exceptional customer service, and the team at Zappos use the their digital presence as the primary means to do that. Luckily, with social technology, like Twitter and Facebook, it has become pretty easy to make your Web presence interactive and collaborative.
Small Business Website Design: Don’t Forget the Mobile Web
Not too long ago, we considered mobile sites a nice-to-have add on. That is no longer the case. At present, approximately 5 percent of traffic to CP +B’s site comes via mobile phone, Prindle says. And over the next year, as more smart phones hit the market, and carriers continue to enhance the capability of cellular wireless standards, Pindle says he expects that number to dramatically increase.
‘What that means is that you and your company need to be there,’ Prindle says. ‘Our mobile web strategy centers around creating designs for three screen sizes: PC, smart phone, and the basic (or WAP) phone. Once you’ve covered the basics, monitor your site metrics, and if you have a growing and engaged mobile audience, think about getting into the application game.’
Small Business Website Design: Use Analytics to Track Everything
According to Binch, your website redesign should never be over. ‘Make sure you identify clear and realistic brand and business goals for your site so that you have numbers to optimize against after you go live,’ he says. ‘Then, you’ll want to think about the different parts of the experience you want to track in order to support your company goals.’
If you’re challenged from a budget perspective, Binch suggests using the free Google analytics package: ‘In addition to the more expensive solutions, such as Omniture and WebTrends, we use [Google analytics] across all of our client work.’ Once you’ve confirmed that all of your tags are working, make sure you pull weekly reports and start looking critically at how people are using your site. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long to observe trends, but it’s still important to be relentless in your pursuit of delivering an optimal user experience, he says.
Dig Deeper: Improving Your Sense of Site
Your business mentor
If you choose our Enterprise programme, we ll equip you with an experienced business mentor to prepare you for the challenges ahead, so you ll be able to meet them head on. They will:
- Listen : Be a sounding board for your research helping you to build your business with confidence
- Support : Encourage you to be everything you can be
- Highlight. Be there to think of some of the finer details that you might not have considered, such as cash flow and income projections
- Focus: Help you maintain an overview of your business goals at all times
- Measure – Support with budgeting and sales conversion rates and website traffic statistics
Don’t worry. Our mentors won’t try and take over – they’ll simply help you to achieve your goals.
In addition to mentoring support, where available locally, you may also gain the support of specialist volunteers who can provide you with more specific guidance around challenges that you and your business might face, such as Conversational Marketing or Search Engine Optimisation.
We didn t support this business idea. But, we do want to support yours.
Three Steps to Finding a Business Mentor
November 14, 2011
Great business mentors can have an enormous impact on early-stage startups. Their connections can open doors that would otherwise be closed and their experiences can save entrepreneurs from suffering from the same startup mistakes they ve already made.
But finding the best mentor for your business isn t as simple as picking a name from a hat. You ll need to be able to recognize what makes a great mentor, know how to approach one and then how to maximize the relationship. At TechStars. the mentorship-driven seed stage investment fund I co-founded in 2006, we ve seen all types of mentor relationships, successful and not.
Here are three steps for finding the most experienced mentor to help bring your startup idea to the next level:
1. Recognize what makes a great mentor.
At TechStars, we ve found that the best mentors are those who ask a lot of tough questions and challenge you to exceed your goals. In doing so, they should share their own experiences and help you uncover new opportunities.
But the best mentors shouldn t tell you exactly what to do. They understand their role as an advisor and that it s your company to run, not theirs. Those who tell entrepreneurs what to do, and become upset when their instructions aren t followed, often cause more damage than good.
Sometimes a mentor may ask to be compensated for his or her help and advice. But the best mentors will usually never ask for compensation and will be satisfied just by helping out.
2. Find a good fit.
A common mistake we ve seen is going straight at the busiest, most well-known, most visible mentors. While this may occasionally work, it s often more productive to analyze your own close network and look locally for mentors whom you respect with relevant experience.
Think about approaching the founders and key executives of companies in your space who you admire. Those people are usually more likely to invest time in your business than those with crushing demand from strangers.
To make that first connection, you might try sending a short email explaining what your startup is doing and why you are reaching out. Avoid form emails and always make it relevant and easy for the prospective mentor to help. Take a few minutes to read the person s blog or Twitter account and learn about his or her background so you can personalize your note.
Most of the cold emails I receive from entrepreneurs start off by requesting a meeting over coffee. While this might seem like a good first request, it isn t always. For example, I m an introvert who doesn t drink coffee. Even if I did, I d have to leave my office to meet with the person and most busy mentors won t initially have time to meet.
Build up to that first meeting by establishing a rhythm of interesting and thought-provoking email communication. Demonstrate that you re making regular progress on your product and close the feedback loop so the mentor knows you re listening, analyzing and reacting. When you do eventually ask to speak face-to-face, request a 15-minute meeting at his or her office.
Approaching a smaller number of mentors who have an actual connection to your business or your market and making sure they understand that connection early on usually leads to better long-term engagement between the mentor and the mentee.
3. Maximize the mentor relationship.
Once you ve established a connection, and there is interest from both sides, it s important to build a relationship over time. One way to do this is to check in regularly by email. Mentors should love to see your progress and take pride in knowing that their input has been helpful. Send a monthly email that reminds them of your past conversations and updates them on your progress.
Ask one new question in these emails to ensure the conversation continues. It s important to keep these check-in emails short and to the point and not ask for too much at a time. For example, requesting a two-hour phone call once a week is probably going to be an unrealistic demand. Getting together at the mentor s office for 30 minutes once a quarter can be an easier request to be fulfilled once you ve established a real relationship.
While mentors shouldn t ask for financial compensation, if they are consistently spending a considerable amount of time helping you get going, you might consider granting them a small amount of equity in your company to offer a long-term incentive.
Great founders intuitively understand the importance and role of mentors. They recognize that startups are difficult, but realize that a great team paired with the presence of experienced and engaged mentors can make an enormous difference — and is often a strong indicator of future success.
Start a Conversation. Grow a Business.
We’re Better Together
For entrepreneurs, turning a passion into a business is the ultimate dream. But that dream doesn’t come easily. It’s hard work, and there are challenges around every corner. Fortunately, entrepreneurs don’t have to go it alone. Their chance of success increases with access to the business knowledge and guidance of experienced professionals.
MicroMentor is a free, easy-to-use social network that allows entrepreneurs and volunteer business mentors to connect so they can solve problems and build businesses together. Join a growing community that has already created thousands of mentor-mentee matches and continues to make an impact through the power of mentoring to help small businesses thrive.
Our growth was inevitable with my mentor holding me accountable.
Morgan, co-founder of Specialized Emergency Training
How It Works
Create your profile
Sign up and complete your profile. Describe yourself, what you do, and what you hope to accomplish here.
Send messages to others in the community to express your interest in starting a new mentoring conversation.
Talk on the phone to get to know one another. Move forward by setting goals and solving problems together!
MicroMentor also bundles our unique, web-based platform with dedicated programmatic support to help large organizations get employee volunteering and mentoring initiatives off the ground easily, effectively, and at scale. With a track record of creating satisfying mentoring experiences and fueling business growth, MicroMentor offers corporations and government agencies the potential for unprecedented reach and maximum impact.
To learn more, select which type of organization you work for:
My mentee did as much for me as I could have possibly done for her. It was unbelievable how she uplifted my life.
Newton, mentor and corporate executive
Cynthia is a young social entrepreneur from Nigeria who joined MicroMentor to grow her biodegradable dish soap business, Everglow. Cyndy was connected with Gary, a former executive from UPS. Gary leveraged his extensive experience with sales, marketing and global logistics to help Cynthia, who then implemented a major rebrand and made crucial decisions about labeling, pricing, packaging and distribution. Gary helped Cyndy gain a competitive advantage within the burgeoning liquid soap market in Nigeria. Her business grew by 40% and hired 6 new employees. EverGlow is now being pursued by venture capitalists and bar soap manufacturers.
Cynthia is now launching a second social enterprise focused on cassava which will improve the environment and increase farmers’ incomes. Read more.
Business Mentoring Fuels Success
Thriving entrepreneurs often cite mentoring as a critical component of their success.
Our results show that entrepreneurs who use MicroMentor reap the benefits of mentoring, growing their businesses every year.
Compared to a 74% survival rate for businesses that didn’t receive mentoring.
Mentored businesses increased revenues by 83% — five times better than without a mentor.