By Jim Millen | Blog Editor
In a new series of posts, we talk to some of the rising stars of the small business world who joined us at the Fujitsu-sponsored Start Up Hub at the 2012 Conservative Party Conference. Start Up Hub provides entrepreneurs with a chance to showcase their business idea in front of delegates, national press, company representatives and senior Conservative politicians.
This week, Conrad Ford from Funding Options gives us his view on the Start Up Hub experience.
JM: Conrad, Funding Options was a winner at last year’s Start Up Hub, but I believe the business actually originated from a competition as well?
CF: It did indeed. Funding Options uses modern technology to help small businesses to quickly and easily find the right finance.
In 2011, we were winners of a flagship government competition to identify and support the most promising digital companies in London’s “Silicon Roundabout”, and last year were global finalists in a competition to find the world’s most promising new finance firms.
We were inspired to start Funding Options because of the pressing challenge of getting finance to Britain’s small firms.
JM: So how was the Start Up Hub experience for you?
CF: Overall, it was a great opportunity to raise our profile in an important and influential forum. We had a fantastic experience on the day, whether discussing challenges with ministers, debating with delegates, or sharing experiences with other small firms.
We’ve even ended up helping some small business owners at the conference with their finance!
JM: And what’s your view on the importance of collaboration between government, large enterprise and small business?
CF: In particular we think it’s vital that government continues to opens up its expenditure to smaller firms, who are often far nimbler and much better value than their bigger rivals.
We also believe that large and small firms should cooperate more, as both can learn from the other.
JM: Any tips for anyone thinking about Start Up Hub for the first time?
CF: Enter it, enter it, enter it!
Learn more about Funding Options here: http://www.fundingoptions.com/
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