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What is the Business Finance Guide?

Author: ICAEW's Corporate Finance Faculty

Published: 15 Mar 2021

The Business Finance Guide helps entrepreneurs and companies to find the finance they need to invest, grow and overcome adversity.

Developing a business isn’t a straightforward journey from A to B. It’s complex, challenging and often changes.

To continue pushing forward, a business needs appropriate finance at different points along the journey for many different reasons. But understanding when, why and how to get finance can be a challenge in itself, which is why, back in 2014, the ICAEW working closely with the British Business Bank developed The Business Finance Guide.

Independent and free

The Business Finance Guide is a completely free and independent source of information on the forms of finance available to business owners, management teams and their advisers.

Being independent, it does not direct people towards individual providers of finance products, instead it takes you through an interactive tool and directs you to concise information about the finance options available to your business, and where you can find advice.

Helping businesses access finance

The guide is designed to support businesses along every step of the journey, from starting out through to growth. It explains:

The digital version of the guide also offers more information on finance options, including stories from businesses across a range of sectors and at different stages in their journey, so you can learn from the people that have been there and done it.

History of the guide

The Business Finance Guide  supports ICAEW’s public-interest remit. Originally co-authored by David Petrie and Marc Mullen, the guide has been further developed by David Petrie, Katerina Joannou, Shaun Beaney and Marc Mullen in ICAEW’s Corporate Finance Faculty.

The guide was first printed in 2014 and distributed to more than 100,000 businesses and their advisors. Within two years it was expanded to include a complementary digital version and website. Since its launch the Business Finance Guide has reached more than one million entrepreneurs, advisers, investors and lenders.

In producing the guide, ICAEW and BBB gained the support of more than 20 professional bodies and business organisations, to provide expert and clear insight into the complex landscape of the debt and equity finance options available to businesses.

Representatives of angel investors, hire-purchase companies, credit management, venture capitalists and many more, have all contributed to the guide.


Finance at every stage

Business financing is not a one-off decision, but an ongoing and evolving situation. No decision can be made in isolation to the businesses journey. Find out more about what options are suitable now and what might work at another stage.

Business Finance Guide
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