Forward Finance is an invoice finance solution for businesses with turnover of up to £300k and funding requirements up to £50k. It helps to unlock value from unpaid invoices by immediately releasing up to 90 per cent of cash tied up in a business’s invoices on the day they are raised. The remaining 10 per cent is then paid once the invoices are settled, minus a small fee.
The product allows business owners to retain control of their customer relationships, while providing working capital to enable growth. BFS Commercial Director, Edward Winterton says: “We have worked hard to develop a proposition which suits the needs of small businesses – particularly the growing number of micro-businesses with a requirement for flexible funding.”
The product has a rolling 28 day contract enabling businesses to access the funding as and when they require, without the rigidity of a long term contract.
The launch of Forward Finance comes in response to the increasing number of micro-businesses in the UK. According to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, these are business with up to ten employees, and account for around 95 per cent of firms.
Winterton says: “These enterprises are typically younger, smaller businesses and – increasingly – have a web presence and growing international footprint.”
According to a recent study of 1,000 SMEs by BFS, of those which have been refused bank funding over the past six months; 37 per cent were told this was due to poor personal credit history, with over a quarter being declined because they are new ventures.
Winterton says: “This research shows that more and more SMEs struggle to access funding they need to grow and that often this is because they haven’t been in business long enough.
“But without funding support in place, these businesses aren’t being given the chance to flourish and fulfil their full potential, which is why we have launched Forward Finance.”
Stirling Hinkley owns a small ergonomics consultancy in Oxfordshire and says that he had difficulty obtaining funding from the banks when he started the business. Stirling said: “I needed funding quickly but the banks all made it so difficult that I started to look elsewhere.”
Stirling now has funding in place through an invoice finance facility and he believes he is now in a position to grow the business: “So far this year business has been buoyant and with funding in place, I’m now looking ahead to the future and growing the business.”