Fund101 launches to help fill finance gap

Small business support company, Enterprise Nation, along with PayPal and Intuit, the makers of QuickBooks, is launching Fund101 to offer amounts of up to £500 to start ups and young businesses. The fund 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 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.

Cameron McLean Vice President of PayPal UK, Merchant Services said:

"Fund 101 builds on Ideas101, a project we ran with Enterprise Nation last year that offered £100 to 100 businesses to fund an idea that would help them start and grow. It was a great success and clearly demonstrated small business owners are inventive and don't need much capital to turn ideas into revenue and plans into profit."

Fund101 launched on 5 September with up to £50,000 on offer. Applications are invited at  

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