The fund, which has an initial fund of £50,000, is being launched to meet a gap in the market for business owners who need only a small amount of capital to get going or growing. It is open to anyone in the UK looking to become their own boss or young businesses looking to expand.
Emma Jones, Founder of Enterprise Nation said: “Over the past year we have heard loud and clear from start ups and small businesses that their funding gap is the first £500; a sufficient amount to buy items such as business cards, a camera for taking product shots or maybe promotion flyers or a website. Thanks to PayPal and Intuit, this is the demand we are meeting.”
Fund101 will provide non-repayable sums of between £50 and £500 via an online application process. Applicants will apply at www.enterprisenation.com by outlining how much money they need and for what purpose.
They will make a case for their business idea, answer questions put forward by the community and look to engage and encourage as many people as possible to vote for them.
The number of votes required to obtain the funding is equal to the amount of funding the small business is looking for – so to obtain £500 the applicant will need to secure 500 virtual votes.
On securing this, the funds will be deposited in their PayPal account with the only payback being that the successful applicant agrees to be profiled on the site a few months later to offer an update on how they’re getting on.
Sally Revell. Head of Marketing at Intuit UK, said: “This fund will help hundreds of people start and grow a business by providing them with a vital cash injection when they need it most. Not only do they receive money, applicants will also become part of a small business community from which to access help, support and advice as their business develops. Funding plus peer support is a powerful combination in the early stages of any business.”
An amount of £5,000 will be awarded each month with the funds provided by Intuit and PayPal as well as the small business community who will be invited to ‘send money’ via the site to go directly into the fund and help the next generation of entrepreneurs.