Freelancers and start-ups search far and wide for growth finance

Claire Kennedy of Beevers & Struthers tackles the topic of funding advice.

Claire Kennedy Beever StruthersAs the lack of funding for small businesses in these testing times continues to make headlines, increasing numbers of freelancers and start-ups are spreading their net ever wider in the search for tailored advice on finance to launch a business, expand that business and realise their corporate ambitions.

Entrepreneurial freelancers, start-ups and established small businesses are a key driver of growth in the wider economy through the production of pioneering products and their ability to recruit additional staff and if they’re unable to access and secure funding via schemes such as Funding for Lending it’s bad news for them and the economic prospects of UK plc as a whole.

The whole issue of giving people the means with which to grow their fledgling operations has come to the fore with the number of self-employed people – often involving those who’ve launched their own enterprise following redundancy – soaring by 367,000 between 2008 and 2012 with the number of employees falling by 434,000 over the same period, according to the latest research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This dramatic rise in those venturing forth on their own and wanting to know how to make their business work is reflected by an increasing demand for expert advice on funding.

For example, more than 500 freelancers and contractors operating as start-ups and established small businesses have registered with www.freelancersandcontractors.co.uk – an online platform dedicated to the provision of expert services to help them access and make the best use of finance, from advice on how to maximise tax efficiency to help with planning for their retirement.

The interactive website acts as an online portal to allow users to upload and download accounting information and provide advice for freelancers and contractors on key issues including business start-up help, maximising pay, issues with tax, record keeping, retirement planning, health protection, and finally investment and mortgage advice. The range of people using this online tool as a source of information – anyone from those starting out to more experienced contractors – proves that tailored funding and how best to access and use it is of crucial importance if Britain is to improve its economic performance and avoid the dreaded prospect of a triple-dip recession.