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Study notes

Finance: Considerations for a Startup (GCSE)

  • Levels: GCSE
  • Exam boards: AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Often the hardest part of starting a business is raising the money to get going. An entrepreneur might have a great business idea and clear plan for how to exploit a market opportunity. However, unless sufficient finance can be raised, the entrepreneur will struggle to make the most of the opportunity.Raising finance for a start-up requires careful planning.

The entrepreneur needs to decide:

  • How much finance is required? Raising finance is hard work and expensive – the start-up should avoid having to go through the process too often!
  • When and for how long the finance is needed? A useful distinction can be made between long-term, medium-term and short-term finance
  • What security (if any) can be provided? This will affect the ability of the business to raise a bank or other loan where the lender requires some security (or "collateral")
  • Whether the entrepreneur is prepared to give up some control (ownership) of the start-up in return for investment?
  • Whether the cost of the finance (e.g. interest charged) is justified

The finance needs of a start-up should also take account of these key areas:

  • Set-up costs -the costs that are incurred before the business starts to trade
  • Getting ready to produce - the fixed assets that the business needs before it can begin to trade
  • Working capital (the stocks needed by the business –e.g. raw materials + allowance for amounts that will be owed by customers once sales begin)
  • Growth and development (e.g. extra investment in capacity)

An important consideration when obtaining finance for a business is when and for how long the finance is needed. A useful distinction can be made between long-term, medium-term and short-term finance. The table below summarises the main examples and uses of each category:




Finances the whole business over many years

Finances major projects or assets with a long-life

Finances day-to-day trading of the business




Retained profits

Share capital

Venture capital



Bank loans

Bank loans


Hire purchase

Government grants

Bank overdraft

Trade creditors


Bank loans


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