Start-up secures £25K seed capital online

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A start-up business which helps members of the forces and emergency services find new careers has secured a £25,000 investment, thanks to crowdfunding website Crowdcube.com.

Using Crowdcube's online funding page, London-based Personal Development Bureau offered 15% equity in its business – which will provide training and mentoring to the estimated 34,000 police and 75,000 armed forces personnel expected to lose their jobs over the next four years, as a result of government cuts.

Personal Development Bureau launched its funding page in August, raising £25,000 in less than two months, from 68 investors – each contributing between £10 and £3,300.

Founder Rupert Honywood said: “The funds raised will enable us to grow this business, helping the thousands of people that need our help.

“Crowdcube's new method to raise capital is especially relevant to us because it enables the very people we serve – our members – to become actively engaged in the community as shareholders too. We'll certainly be using Crowdcube for any future funding requirements.”

Crowdcube – which is itself a start-up, having launched in February 2011 – offers businesses an alternative way to source investment by asking ordinary people, clients and affiliates to invest as little as £10 in their business growth, in exchange for equity and other benefits.

Darren Westlake, managing director of Crowdcube added: “It is small businesses like Personal Development Bureau that are vital to our economy, particularly given their role in nurturing other start-ups. Yet many fail to get the finance they need to start up and grow.

“Despite the incentives provided by the government to get the banks lending to small businesses, seed capital is still a huge challenge for…start-ups unable to show three years trading figures, or for small businesses that don't want to be encumbered with as much as 16% loan interest. Turning the general public into armchair dragons is the future of business finance in Britain.”

Aimee Bradshaw Senior Writer

Aimee is Startups' resident expert in business tech, products, and services. She loves a great story and enjoys chatting to the startups and small business community. Starting her own egg delivery business from the age of 12, she has a healthy respect for self-starters and local services.

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