Funding Your Business Growth

You have a great business idea or you’re looking to take it to the next level, but now you need funding to start it up or get moving. Knowing where to start looking for money to invest into your new business can seem extremely daunting. That is why we have put together a list of different funding options, so that you can choose the best route for your business.

Before being able to choose the right funding for your business, you will need to consider:

  • Your motive behind starting a business.
  • What the money will be used for.
  • How much money in total will you need?
  • How soon do you need the money?
  • What is the nature of your business?
  • Ultimate goals and milestones.
  • Any future goals and plans.
  • Target market size.

Funding Options

Personal Savings

This is arguably the easiest and most appealing option to finance your business. By using your own money to start up your business you will not be in debt to anyone and have sole control of your business. However, a large con with this option is that if your business fails all of the hard work you had put into your savings and business will have gone to waste.

Angel Investors

Angel investors are individuals who will provide funding for a business start-up in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. They are a good choice to help fund your business as most potential investors in the industry you are entering are unlikely to invest in the early stages when the chances of failing are high. Some angel investors prefer to work through angel groups or angel networks to share investment capital, while many still prefer to work on their own. Angel investors can offer valuable advice and guidance to start-ups as they have experience in the industry you are entering. They also offer flexible business terms; however, you may have to give up some control of your business in exchange for funding.


Crowdfunding is very popular amongst start-ups and involves funding a project or business by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people. This is typically done online using websites such as Kickstarter, Patreon and GoFundMe. Each of these sites will offer a campaign type, such as reward, subscription or donation, and require a campaign fee at the end of the campaign. Campaign fees usually sit at around 5% of the total funds raised by the end of the campaign. Having a strong social media presence will be very valuable when it comes to sharing your crowdfunding campaign. The more people that see it the more potential investors you will have. This type of funding requires dedication and patience before results may be seen.

Venture Capital

Venture capital is a form of private equity financing provided by venture capitalists from private firms. They provide a large amount of funding to start-ups and emerging companies in exchange for a large portion of equity in the business. They will also expect to receive returns once the business goes public. Venture capitalists are motivated by the money and will only invest in your business if they believe it has the potential of providing good returns on their investment. Similar to angel investors, venture capitalists can offer valuable advice and guidance to support the development of your business. Funding from venture capitalists will give your business immediate credibility as they have decided your business has strong potential and will thus encourage others in the industry to also invest. The only downside to accepting their funding is that you may be forced to give up a large portion of your business in exchange for the money and support.

Government Start-up Loan Scheme

In 2012 the UK Government set up a loan scheme, named The Start Up Loans Company, to help support new businesses in the UK. The scheme provides start-ups with fairly small loans of around £6000, but you may find that you are eligible for more depending on your circumstances. Alongside funding, the scheme provides mentoring to help your business find its footing. Their loans are repayable over a one to five-year period with a fixed interest rate of 6%. You can still apply for a loan even if you have already made your business public and started running it, as long as you have been trading for less than 12 months. Go to their website to see if you are eligible.

Government Childcare Funding

Some local councils will provide funding to business that involves childcare. Check to see if your local council offers this and if you are eligible. The funding will not be enough on its own, however, it can help support your business.

Charitable Funds

This can come from charitable organisations or donations. For those with childcare businesses or organisations the national lottery has provided a lot of funding to individual businesses of this niche. However, it can be difficult and time consuming to attract this kind of funding. Check out National Lottery Awards For All for more information. Another option for charity funding is Coop Local Causes. If you are eligible Co-op members will be given the opportunity to donate to one of their local causes and your business will be made an option. Be aware that you are unlikely to get large amounts of funding from it.

By becoming a member of ICAP you’re joining a community of like-minded professionals and business owners in the children’s activity sector working towards excellence

Pip Wilkins

Pip Wilkins is the Chief Executive of the British Franchise Association (bfa). With 25 years’ experience in the franchise sector, Pip has worked her way up within the Association, gaining insight from all areas of the business and the franchise industry. She is well-known and highly regarded in franchising for her dedication and depth of knowledge. Pip regularly speaks at conferences and seminars both domestically and internationally, as well as writing on franchising matters for national, local and franchising trade press. Pip is also a regular judge for the annual bfa HSBC Franchise Awards, the Franchise Marketing Awards and Global Franchise Awards. Pip represents the UK at both the European Franchise Federation (EFF) and World Franchise Council (WFC). The bfa has grown to be one of the largest franchise associations in Europe, and one of the most successful associations in the world.

Theo Millward

Theo Millward is a graduate of Lancaster University with a BBA in Management. In 2016 Theo purchased UK swim school, Swimtime from the founders which teaches 20,000 children a week. Following a multi-award- winning digital transformation, during the global pandemic, Theo and his team founded Franscape, a saas that digitally transforms Franchise brands. FranScape won New Business of the Year at the UK Business Awards.

Andy Georgiou

Andy is the Founder of ICAP and a leading UK Franchise Business Consultant. He is fiercely committed to helping children’s activity providers build successful and profitable businesses. With qualifications in Business Management, Digital Media and Marketing, he has helped build, advise and grow leading 6 and 7 fiqure children’s education, sports and activity brands in the past 17 years.

Frank Sahlein

Frank has been active in the Children’s Activity Center industry as an athlete, coach, business owner, consultant and business broker. He is a native of San Mateo, California and graduated from San Jose State University in California (USA).
Frank was a pioneer of the Children’s Learning Opportunity Center concept from 1976 – 2016 at the Wings Center in Boise, Idaho (USA) – a blend of Sports Instruction, Arts, Education, Entertainment and Outreach programs.
As a business management innovator, Frank has delivered over 1,000 presentations for a variety of Children’s Activity Center industries such as gymnastics, swimming, cheerleading, dance, martial arts/ninja and child care/education.
3rd Level Consulting is a Business Development and Service Provider Partner for private industry companies, associations, and organizations in the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Panama.
Two-time recipient of the National Business Leader Award from USA Gymnastics, Frank is the author of “Building Your Business Potential” and “Designing Your Empowered Life”. He is the creator of the SmartEDGE™ Business Applications and Management Certification Courses. He is the co-founder of LEAP Learning and the MetaSpheres Corp, and is the founder and Executive Director of the International Association of Child Development Programs.
His passions include his beautiful wife Lourdes Gonzalez, family, friends, fitness training, transformational reading and travel.