Are there ANY sources of seed funding for UK Startups that aren't "tech" related


I'm looking for funding for a business, lets say its the "creative / media" market.

I am trying to get seed Equity funding but am hitting a brick wall trying to find this.

all investment groups / crowd-funders seem to be interested in is:
"Tech startups"
"Green Technologies"
and every 2nd project on crowdfunding sites:
"Internet platforms"

Are there any sources for REAL businesses? for example if someone wanted to start up a supermarket, and needs capital for setup, stock, advertising etc....
and: The bank said no, no personal savings to throw at it, no "friends and family" option (i mean really, who's family has £100k sitting around?!)

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asked Sep 10 '13 at 18:24
Darkcat Studios
190 points
Get up to $750K in working capital to finance your business: Clarify Capital Business Loans
  • Banks are traditionally the source of this kind of capital, but they have been instructed to tighten loan criteria to avoid systemic risk. I would check out your local chamber of commerce, if you have one and also which replaced Business Link. Also, look into any regional, national or EU grants, especially if you will create jobs. Other than that, there's Dragons' Den, but only if you are desperate. – Steve Jones 9 years ago
  • So why aren't tech startup's REAL businesses?The main appeal of tech startup's is they can make it really big - why would any investor be interested in a supermarket which makes 4% profit? – Bhttoan 9 years ago
  • @bhttoan - Thats not quite how i meant to put it, i mean "real" as in "bricks and mortar", "highstreet" etc, not a high-risk tech idea that could make millions but will probably not. A supermarket was just an example. – Darkcat Studios 9 years ago
  • On the 4% return question, it's all about understanding exactly how business works. Tech businesses are easy gambles, you put some money in up front, build something, and have some probability of success. Businesses with hard assets may 'only' make a single digit return, but they have their own appeal. For example, you can leverage your own money to *use someone else's money* by borrowing against the hard assets. Then it just becomes a question of scale. The same 100K can be "gambled" on tech startups or "gambled" to borrow/buy a $1 million/yr business. Private equity does this all day – Theao 9 years ago

1 Answer


For new startups in the £10k region in the UK there are the government backed Startup Loans (see ).

There are certainly angel networks that look at non-tech startups. I know have funded things like new kinds of sheets for hospitals for example. However - they're a long way from starting up things like supermarkets.

The "problem" for businesses like supermarkets are that they are established markets with low margins. You're unlikely to get a VC/Angel funded supermarket because the returns are going to be too low. You'll need to show that you'll able to provide a reasonable chance of substantial returns.

answered Sep 11 '13 at 02:28
Adrian Howard
2,357 points

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