SME Funding Adviser Scheme Launched

Securing appropriate financial services can be a minefield for any SME.  The information available is relatively sparse although sites like Business Moneyfacts and the magazine Business Money are handy. 
But there’s …

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29th January 2007 at 4:58 pm

Securing appropriate financial services can be a minefield for any SME.  The information available is relatively sparse although sites like Business Moneyfacts and the magazine Business Money are handy. 

But there’s nothing quite like a personal recommendation or talking things through with an adviser.  The launch today of an ‘SME Funding Adviser Scheme’ by the ICAEW, the trade association for accountants in England and Wales, would appear to be good news.

The scheme which is a response to the government’s ‘Facilitating Finance’ report is the first of its kind and 1,900 ICAEW members have signed up to it.  Chair of the Government and Accountants Working Group, Michael Snyder, said today:

It is particularly important that SMEs are well supported by easily accessible expert advice in seeking appropriate sources of finance, especially equity finance.

This all sounds good, but how independent will advice be?  Will it be purely on the basis of the best available deal for the SME concerned, or will advisers like some IFAs end up being tied formally or informally to specific products? 

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Alex is the founder and editor of SmallBizPod, the UK's first podcast dedicated to small business, start-ups and entrepreneurship. Alex writes about topical small business issues, entrepreneurs and anything else that catches his eye here on the small business blog. http://www.smallbizpod.co.uk

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  1. Hi Alex,

    Any finance-related adviser information is valuable for SMEs I believe. Independence, however, can be a tricky issue like you mentioned.

    We have a similar service for market entry support in Asia for SMEs with a set budget, and have tried to overcome the independence issue by gathering a pool of independent, retired professionals for companies to choose from – real-time.

    More transparent and open system for all, that hopefully leads to better efficiency for both sides and lower cost for companies.

  2. Looks like an interesting example of how the web can be used to bring support and advice to small businesses. I guess your service is a little like a matching/dating site for SMEs and financial advisors.

    I still feel the potential for some form of truly interactive online mentoring has yet to be realised.

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