StepLadder provides a financial springboard for the UK’s increasing numbers of entrepreneurs
• StepLadder’s new Side Hustle Circle is the first and only online group money-raising platform for new businesses.
• StepLadder’s Circles avoid the need for expensive business loans, empowering people to save their own money for their new ventures and potentially as fast as securing a loan.
• Starting a new business hits a record high according to data from Companies House.
• Nearly 13% of UK adults are running fledgling businesses according to The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.
The growth of entrepreneurship in the UK does not show any signs of slowing. 340,534 businesses were registered in the UK between January and June 2021, an increase of 32% from 257,243 over the same time period in 2019.
StepLadder, the UK’s first and only online collaborative money-raising platform, are addressing this snowballing trend with a new product - the Side Hustle Circle - the first of its kind in the UK.
Designed specifically to finance new business ideas, entrepreneurs can raise either £500 or £1000 over a period of 10 months by saving together with other entrepreneurs. Members of this brand new Circle also receive start-up support from expert professional coaches. This digital financial community is unique to StepLadder in the UK, bringing entrepreneurs together for support, guidance and the chance to kickstart a new business up to 90% faster.
Over 22,000 people per month Google ‘how to start a business’ in the UK. Although 51% of Britons believe they have the skills and knowledge to start their own business, and 61% said there were good opportunities for starting a business in their area, there are many obstacles holding people back. For some, it’s fear of failure, some don’t know where or how to start and some just haven’t got the stand-out idea they need for their new venture. However,
Forbes magazine cites the number one obstacle in starting a new business is financial limitation, with 9,300 people Google searching for ‘start-up loans’ every month.
StepLadder’s new product aims to address this obstacle, alongside not knowing where to start, by giving its Members the chance to kickstart their business by raising money for a new website, design support, product investment or however they’re planning to begin their new ventures. But StepLadder doesn’t just help bring people together to raise money. Using the skills learned from its own start-up days and the expertise of in-house business coaches, StepLadder provides Side Hustle Circle Members with guidance and direction to move confidently forward with their business plans.
StepLadder Founder and ACCT Accredited Business Coach, Lucy Mullins, comments on what sets this new financial product apart from business loans and other start-up financial support. “We’re empowering people to save their own money to finance their business plans. We facilitate joining together entrepreneurs to save and support each other, to become a hive of entrepreneurial minds and benefit from each other’s guidance and the knowledge we have as a team.
Not just that, but research shows you’re 300% more likely to achieve your financial goals if you save in a group, so we’re keeping Britain’s newest future business leaders disciplined to reach their goals and start their businesses.”
Entrepreneurship changed dramatically during the pandemic. First, many people began to question the stability of the careers they had spent years forging - seemingly unshakeable businesses went under while others saw gaps in the market, adapted and flourished. People acquired new skills during the long lockdown days that could be used to begin a new career. Lastly, mortality was highlighted in a way no one had seen before, giving a sense of ‘Carpe Diem’ and taking the opportunity to change our lives now, rather than waiting for some time in the future.
Alongside the coaching workshop all Members of Side Hustle Circles receive when they join, Members will also get StepLadder’s Start-Up 101 PDF guide and access to StepLadder’s partner discounts and offers that will help with the
Kickstarting start-ups with the UK’s only digital group saving platform The StepLadder ‘Dream Squad’ One of StepLadder’s first successful home-buyers, Irene, with the keys to her new home associated costs of starting a new business.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Collaborative saving around the world
Using a financial model known as a ‘Rotating Credit and Savings Association’ (ROSCA) – popular in many nations worldwide – it is also known by names globally such as Susu, Paluwagan, Ajo and Chit Funds. The concept of collaborative saving is not new, but StepLadder is the first to have brought the service to the digital world in the UK.
How a Circle works
Once you know how much you want to save, StepLadder will match you with other people looking to do the same. This is your ‘Circle’ and you are a Member. Every month you pay into the Circle and once a month a Member gets awarded the money in the Circle. You continue to save for your goal until the Circle ends, but if you get drawn you receive your savings faster, although you continue to pay until the Circle ends.
Investment and success
StepLadder have raised £4 million from BBVA, Anthemis, Seedcamp and leading UK angels. The platform has already helped thousands of people work towards their financial goals, and has been growing at a rate of 49% every 90 days since 2019.
About Matt and Lucy, StepLadder Co-Founders
Matthew Addison founded StepLadder in 2016 to make a lasting positive social impact based on his graduate study work at Wharton. Matthew has spent nearly 20 years in finance and investments at firms including Goldman Sachs and Cheyne Capital, where he was a partner. Lucy Mullins has 20 years experience in education and finance at the University of Oxford and HSBC. She did her MBA at the Saïd Business School and was named Female Founder at Unbound Innovation Awards in 2019 and Innovator of the Year at the Women in IT Awards 2020.
For further information, testimonials from existing Members, and images, please contact Bella Percy-Hughes
T: +44 7525 807153