AN ELITE group of Scottish entrepreneurs are to be given an insight into innovative alternative ways to finance their growth plans.
Winning Entrepreneurs is an exclusive network of some of the most exciting and fastest growing businesses in the country – and will now meet to discuss how such businesses can continue to fund growth in the current challenging market conditions.
The event will be led by Winning Entrepreneurs ambassador Graham Langley, Chief Executive of Tiger Advisers, one of Scotland’s most respected corporate financiers and an award-winning former banker.
His Edinburgh-based firm recently won plaudits for the significant role it played as lead advisor to management in negotiating an international buyout deal of FNZ, which provides vital services and technology to financial giants like Standard Life and Axa.
Private equity providers HIG Europe supported FNZ’s management in purchasing the firm from a consortium of investors in New Zealand for an undisclosed sum and have provided capital to support the continued growth of the business.
Now Graham hopes to reassure entrepreneurs they can still work creatively to secure finance to facilitate growth, despite the crisis in the banking sector.
He added: “Until recently your average business tended to look to funding from the banks. As everyone knows that is now far more difficult.
“Despite the various pronouncements from the Government assuring us that banks are lending again, the reality is that it is extremely difficult for businesses and they are looking to other sources.
“That is usually equity funding from high net worth individuals, business angels, investors, angel syndicates and venture capital firms.
“This is precisely the area we work in and we are one of only a very small group of companies in Scotland with the breadth of experience to source funding across this entire spectrum.”
Graham insists that those businesses which can give a compelling picture of likely growth are attractive to those investors seeking alternatives to stocks, shares and property.
He added: “For businesses prepared to think in non-traditional ways and prove themselves agile, there are very real alternatives to financing from banks.
“The type of business which identifies and makes the most of these opportunities is exactly the kind which will defy the gloomy economic climate by continuing to grow and coming out of the other end of this recession in better shape than ever.”
Graham’s presentation dinner is the latest event organised through Winning Entrepreneurs, an invitation-only networking group made up of emerging high growth business leaders – all of whom have to be voted in by one of the organisation’s ‘ambassadors’. It already has 55 members and the number will be capped at 120.
Members include IT and property magnate Shaf Rasul, recently appointed as on online dragon on the influential TV show, Dragon’s Den; Mark McElney, CEO and founder of No 1 Currency, one of Scotland’s fastest growing companies.
Winning Entrepreneurs was conceived by businesswoman Belinda Roberts after she spotted a gap for a network that was only open to successful individuals to share their skills and experience with other similar business owners.
Belinda said: “The winning ingredient in any business success story is its contacts – it’s the old adage of it’s not what you know but who you know.
“Graham is a member of our network thanks to the success of his team at Tiger Advisers and the services they offer couldn’t be more in demand by our other members. Bringing that together like this is exactly what we’re about and I’m sure we’re going to see some impressive results.”
Before setting up Tiger Advisers in 2006, Graham spent 20 years at RBS in roles ranging from a Risk Manager within the Bank’s Credit Department, through to Head of Business Development for Commercial Banking in Edinburgh, winning numerous outstanding achievement awards.
He has worked with owner-managers of mid-market businesses in diverse sectors and is renowned for being innovative with extensive risk assessment and deal-structuring skills and has a vast network of business contacts throughout the central belt.
The dinner will take place at Prestonfield House on April 16. Tiger Advisers can be contacted through http://www.tigeradvisers.co.uk.
Note to editors
Belinda was Managing Director of People Evolution Ltd, whose clients included the Eastern Western Motor Group. She is a former Main Board Director of the UK wide Recruitment & Employment Confederation and has been involved in the creation and development of highly successful training companies including Optimum Proactive Training, which she founded in 1999 and subsequently sold in 2003.