There was a heated debate on Day 2 of the event regarding the cost/benefit of Public funds supporting “Investment Readiness” programs. Many felt that there was a high cost per participant when measured by success in raising equity finance. Others clearly felt that the benefits were broader than simply the number of companies that received funding after the Ready4growth workshop.
I was particularly impressed with the statistics: 36% of all companies attending the Ready4growth program in the UK raised equity finance. This number was 14% in Spain and roughly 3% in Greece. As a point of reference, approximately 5% of all businesses that approach the London Business Angel network receive funding. One could draw the conclusion that by attending a Ready4growth workshop (which were free to participants), a company could expect to be 7 times more likely to raise equity finance. Those are exceptional statistics.
At London Business Angels we run a mini 2-day training program before companies present to our network of Business Angels. We have significantly higher success rates for entrepreneurs raising finance through our network than through other networks throughout the UK. I was pleased to see that these same success rates were repeated on a wider scale as a result of the Ready4growth program.
As with all good things, the pilot program for Ready4growth has ended, but the materials and methodologies developed will be used in future programs. Because this was a dissemination event, attendees were encouraged to take the program, adapt it to their country and run the Ready4growth program for entrepreneurs in their own respective countries.