How I raised alternative finance

Overview

I invented the product, but to carry out the research and get the product designed for consumer use, manufactured and sold, I needed cash. Although the PM said he would provide funds to help green businesses, I couldn't find a way to get help - so I found funding myself.

The challenge

As well as the obvious need for cash in a manufacturing business (R&D, supply chain and so on), I had to wait for the market to catch up with my vision. This was done by using utility companies as the market entry point, rather than retail. Such strategy would ensure a UK-wide deployment of energy saving devices. Inevitably there was a belief that energy companies (whose core business is selling electricity) wouldn't attempt to stem that revenue stream.

The solution

I had to find a forward-thinking of a UK utility company, and this was found in Scottish and Southern Electric. It placed an order and provided funds to be involved in the OFGEM trial. This crystallised the vision that energy companies were behaving responsibly in the war against carbon emissions - helping their CERT (Carbon Emissions Reduction Target) obligations and improving green credentials.

Key lesson

Realising that imagination is your most valuable asset.

Top tip

Luck does exist and all opportunities , no matter how small, need to be acted on - you never know what it may lead to. And opportunities can only be capitalised on if you have a great idea, a willing customer base and are prepared to put the work and the hours in.

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