• Crowdfunding Makes The Apprentice On BBC1

    The latest bunch of hapless Lord Sugar wannabes kicked off this season off the BBC's #TheApprentice a couple of weeks back. In the second week they demonstrated even less than the normal amount of business accumen, when both teams failed the advertising task. This week saw them taking over part of Liberty of London and, as usual, ignoring the advice of experts sent to help them e.g. having a live model in your shop window increases sales by 30-40%"!

    Crowdfunding

    However, the thing that caught my eye, right at the end, was the trailer for next weeks edition. The candidates are going to be tasked by Lord Sugar with putting together a crowdfunding proposal! Crowdfunding has now made BBC1 prime time, which will no doubt increase its exposure even further. This is a complete deviation from the normal tasks set by Lord Sugar, and it just goes to show how mainstream Crowdfunding (CF) has become.

    Receivables Finance

    My sadness is that the receivables financing sector is still failing to achieve a shadow of the profile achieved by crowdfunding. Our own research recently found awareness of crowdfunding advertising was nearly 6.5 times higher than that of invoice finance (IF). So it is little wonder that receivables financing is still relatively unknown.  Indeed our latest research survey, about product awareness will shortly be released on this blog, revealing exactly what percentage of eligible businesses are aware of invoice finance. It will be surprising reading to many.

    The promotion of CF via The Apprentice is exactly this kind of profile raising promotion that has done so much to build awareness of CF. The stark difference between CF loans and IF is that with CF loans you have to make repayments, in a similar fashion to a bank loan, whilst with IF the finance can revolve such that it remains and grows with your business. OK you can also raise equity through CF, but not without giving something away in terms of ownership. IF doesn't affect your ownership at all. Yet despite these key differences, CF continues to grab all the headlines.

    So what about an Apprentice episode all about invoice finance? Or even a mention? Highly unlikely I suspect, but The Apprentice remains one of the best things on TV!

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