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haysmacintyre releases the results of their first entrepreneurial survey on growth finance

13th February 2015

Through our work with entrepreneurs we understand that the sharing of information and experiences with peers is incredibly valued and of huge interest. It was this notion that prompted us to collaborate with Growing Business and the Young Guns initiative to launch the first “Young Guns Barometer”. We surveyed over 70 entrepreneurs and the topics included finding the right growth company funding path; debt finance: availability, usage and equity fears; and equity finance: pivots, funding rounds and exits.


The results of the report were announced at our launch party on Wednesday 11 February 2015. The evening revealed some insightful findings, honest experiences and great debate.

We were joined by a panel of experts including:
Dan Somers, Partner Boundary Capital Ltd
Crispin Moger, CEO Young Marmalade
Benita Matofska, Founder Compare and Share
Natasha Frangos, Partner haysmacintyre
Timothy Barnes, Executive Director UCL Advances

The key messages from the interactive session are outlined below:

  • What is ‘smart’ money? A lot of expertise can be gained from Venture Capitalists. They are often split by finance and entrepreneurial backgrounds. Some say they are ‘smart’ because they have made the most money. But essentially a ‘smart’ investor looks at the business and is not scared of it changing. They want and will make a difference, can be trusted and will facilitate the entrepreneur. 
  • Getting the balance right - how much equity and control are you willing to give away and how much funding do you need?
  • Don't mix apples and oranges - is crowd funding suitable for you and your business? The key benefits are that it can validate your idea and bring collective intelligence, however it is not without its challenges.
  • Can you adjust to equity finance? Some entrepreneurs feel Private Equity or Venture Capitalists will take over the business by bringing in new management and processes. A key consideration is whether they can substantially accelerate the growth of the business, making it worthwhile.
  • Be very clear on the reasons for funding. Provide transparency on what you want to achieve, set distinct milestones and be careful not to say the first round is all you're going to need. 
  • Equity finance provides entrepreneurs with structure and encourages you to truly consider new ideas and strategies. It is very important to have alignment between investors and entrepreneurs and start to put structure around the business.

Overall, the results of the survey and interviews with a number of Young Guns have offered us an insightful and personal viewpoint on the growth funding landscape from an insider’s point of view, through very different perspectives and experiences. 

If you would like to request a pdf copy of the report, please email us on

We hope you find our report useful and our next survey will launch in Autumn 2015.

Natasha Frangos, Head of Creative, Media and Technology.