Need money to start your business?

By: Emma Jones

Date: 31 October 2011

Small-business support company Enterprise Nation, together with PayPal and Intuit (the makers of QuickBooks), has launched Fund101 to offer up to £500 to start-ups and young businesses.

The fund was launched to meet the gap in the market for business-owners who need only a small amount of capital to get going or growing. It is open to anyone in the UK who is looking to become their own boss or young businesses looking to expand.

Over the past year we have heard loud and clear from start-ups and small businesses that their funding gap is the first £500, a sufficient amount to buy items such as business cards, a camera for taking product shots or maybe promotional flyers or a website. Thanks to PayPal and Intuit, this is the demand we are meeting.

Fund101 will provide non-repayable sums of between £50 and £500 via an online application process. Applicants can apply at Enterprise Nation by explaining how much money they need and what they will use it for. They will make a case for their business idea, answer questions put forward by the community and look to engage and encourage as many people as possible to vote for them.

The number of votes required to obtain the funding is equal to the amount of funding the small business is looking for - so to obtain £500 the applicant will need to secure 500 virtual votes.

On securing this, the funds will be deposited in their PayPal account with the only payback being that the successful applicant agrees to be profiled on the site a few months later to offer an update on how they're getting on.

An amount of £5,000 will be awarded each month with the funds provided by Intuit and PayPal as well as the small business community who will be invited to 'send money' via the site to go directly into the fund and help the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Emma Jones is founder of Enterprise Nation, a business expert, and author of ‘Spare Room Start Up’ and ‘Working 5 to 9’