Defence and security businesses from across Herefordshire, Worcestershire and the Marches met to discuss a range of funding options for business which offer practical alternatives to bank lending, for small firms and for those looking to move into new markets.

Hosted by the Herefordshire Security and Defence Group at Skylon Court, Hereford, the event brought together finance and grant funding experts to look at how to enable businesses to access the funds they need to grow.

Among the speakers was Steve Williams, from Impetus, a provider owned by the Welcome to Our Future environmental charity – they lend to businesses across the Three Counties as well as Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin and aim to support firms wanting to protect or create jobs as well as making an environmental or community impact.

Addressing venture capital and angel funding options, was Kully Johal from Amaryllis Ventures, and Dave Baker from Get Set for Growth, who tackled the issue of how to access money and markets.

Jonathan Whitbread from Harrison Clark Rickerbys explained the firm’s involvement with Finance Generator, a service which addresses companies’ financial needs and offers them a customised solution, using both traditional and alternative funding sources. The service combines introductions to funding sources, support through application processes and then all the legal support needed to create the right structure for a firm’s future.

David Ashcroft, deputy head of Harrison Clark Rickerbys Defence, Security and Forces team, said: “It was an excellent opportunity for businesses to hear from a wide range of experts; this is precisely the kind of event we had in mind when we set up the group to bring the sector together.”
More than 40 delegates took part in the event, and not only engaged with the speakers but also enjoyed local craft beers from the Wobbly Brewery in Hereford.

The group, set up by Harrison Clark Rickerbys to support defence and security businesses in Herefordshire, will meet again on May 10 at the Hereford Business Solutions Centre at Skylon Court.