Not only is business confidence directly impacted by real-time, economic trends, but it also a crucial indicator for future growth and sentiment.
This is why entrepreneurs will have been disappointed to learn to true cost of a volatile and unpredictable 2016, during which the UK electorate voted to leave the EU, the value of the pound plummeted and the economy edged towards another bout of recession. Not all of these events are mutually exclusive, of course, but they certainly caused a sharp decrease in business confidence and left a staggering £2.2 billion hole in the nation’s economy.
Dwindling business confidence is also though to have cost the UK a total of 249,000 jobs in 2016, at least according to comprehensive research carried out by consultancy firm Newable.
Why Businesses Should Seek Out Eco-friendly Funding Sources in 2017
If we take these figures at face value, there are two clear conclusions to be drawn. Firstly, the spectre of Brexit and widespread economic uncertainty began to take a heavy toll during the second half of 2016. Secondly, British businesses are braced for a similarly uncertain 2017, with many indicating that they will either stop funding their ventures or reduce the amount that is reinvested for the foreseeable future.
This is counter-productive in the extreme, however, as it creates stagnation across multiple business markets while triggering further economic decline. It is therefore better to conceive modest growth plans that at least allow for some form of expansion, while also seeking out creative funding sources that add tangible value to the venture. One of the best examples in the modern age is to pursue environmentally-friendly funding options, as this creates a so-called ‘double bottom line’ while increasing your businesses social capital.
What are the Best, Environmentally-friendly Funding Options in 2017?
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most viable environmentally-friendly funding options in the New Year and help to determine which is right for you?
Social-Venture Capital Funding
The aforementioned concept of a double bottom line is a relevant one in the modern age, as this is something that social venture capital investors actively look for when appraising investment opportunities. This individuals place a strong emphasis on the potential social benefits of the business propositions that they receive, while also keeping their eyes peeled for ideas that may have a negative impact on the environment.
In an ideal world, social venture investors prioritise business plans that deliver both a high financial return and environmental benefits. There may be instances where certain investors are willing to back companies that have more moderate financial projections and a genuinely innovative green idea, however, as this may be something that translates into higher returns in the future.
It is also interesting to note that many traditional venture capitalists are beginning to adopt a similar ethos in the modern age, while many are so loathe to commit large sums to businesses that do not have a social-benefit mission. This is certainly an environmentally-friendly way of raising funds, as it enables you to team-up with social venture capitalists who share your passion for sustainability.
Friends, Family and Personal Financing
In many instances, the primary concern with raising funds sustainably revolves around the original source of the income. This can be negated by using your own capital, however, or by partnering with like-minded friends and family members. In both of these instances, you can verify the original source of the income while confirming that it has not been earned through environmentally questionable practices.
This is a particularly viable option if you are in need of a small sum of capital, while it also affords business-owners far greater flexibility over the type of model that they use to underpin their ventures. More specifically, they may be able to retain more of their equity and instead reward investors with relevant green benefits or sponsored donations.
If you are looking to raise funds independently, you will need to seek out investment platforms that enable you to minimise risk while generating the desired returns. The financial market is an excellent place to achieve these goals, as it is a diverse entity that features numerous assets, trading vehicles and risk-reward rations. So whether you look to trade currency with ETX Capital or open up a managed portfolio that has a fixed rate of return, you can choose an option that suits your outlook and the underlying need to raise funds in an environmentally-friendly manner.
While crowdfunding has been around for years, it has undergone something of an evolution in recent times. It has also become increasingly important to the economy, particularly with small and medium-sized businesses (which are the most likely to leverage the crowdfunding model) now accounting for more than 50% of global GDP.
The questions that remain are how has this evolution manifested itself, and why is this good news for green businesses and environmentally-friendly ventures? In terms of the former, we have seen equity crowdfunding emerge over the course of the last three years, offering a progressive alternative to the original iteration of the practice. Through equity crowdsourcing, unlisted start-ups raise funds from like-minded investors online, rewarding them with shares from the early-stage company.
This is the key difference between traditional and equity crowdfunding, as investors were historically rewarded with gifts and unique rewards that were not related to the businesses long-term success or failure. While this offers greater incentives to investors, however, it does inhibit the prospects of finding like-minded benefactors who share in your passion, which is excellent news for environmentally-friendly firms and sustainable ventures.
To this end, businesses now have access to a growing niche in the form of green crowdsourcing. This growth market is home to numerous crowdfunding platforms that specialise in the backing of green ventures, and while many adhere to the traditional model of rewarding investors they also offer the ideal funding solution to companies that wish to raise money sustainably.