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20 November 2018

Join us on Thursday for our Growth Finance Twitter chat

Recent FSB research revealed that only 13% of small firms are currently applying for external finance. The research also found that women business owners find accessing new credit even harder than their male counterparts, 43% women business owners describe the accessibility of new credit as ‘poor’, compared to 38% of male business owners.

Following the launch of our report Going for Growth: Helping small firms flourish through access to finance earlier this month, we are hosting a Twitter chat to offer guidance to small business owners about where to look when seeking alternative finance and tips on how to pitch for external funding.

We will also be asking how Government and financial services sector can do more to unlock the growing demand for finance.

Join us this Thursday at 1pm by following @fsb_policy and #FSBchat to hear from our expert panel and to ask your questions and share your experiences.

Our panellists for the chat include:

Mike Conroy, Director of Commercial Finance at UK Finance

mike ukf

Mike Conroy has policy responsibility for Corporate and Commercial Banking at UK Finance and for the Business Finance Taskforce. This includes engagement with key industrial sectors and stakeholders, strategic initiatives across products such as export finance and leading the access to business finance agenda.

Prior to joining the BBA he gained over 35 years’ experience in the banking industry at HSBC in branch, regional and head office roles including retail and commercial banking, marketing, strategic planning and implementation, e-commerce and most recently external affairs, leading on SME, Commercial and Corporate Banking policy issues. Whilst at HSBC, he completed two secondments with the London Enterprise Agency and HM Treasury.

Mike holds a BSc in Economics and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

Graeme Fisher, MD Policy & Communications at British Business Bank - @BritishBBank

graeme bbb

Graeme Fisher is responsible for the British Business Bank’s policy and communications team, leading its interactions with  government and other stakeholders, as well as  raising awareness of its work.

Prior to joining the Bank in 2016, Graeme led the Federation of Small Businesses’ Westminster office, overseeing a team of policy, public affairs and media experts to raise the profile of issues facing smaller businesses in Whitehall and with senior Ministers. He also had first-hand experience of small business by setting up and growing his own enterprise. He also  spent nearly 10 years in a range of government policy roles mainly in HM Treasury, including leading work on the financial services test, one of the ‘Five Tests’ for euro entry, authoring a paper on EU economic reform and developing environmental tax policy.

Graeme holds a degree in Economics from Heriot Watt University and an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Julianne Ponan, CEO and Founder of Creative Nature and winner of FSB Small Business of the Year award for 2018 - @JuliannePonan


Julianne founded Creative Nature, a vegan-friendly health foods retailer, in 2011 because she wanted to be able to eat nut-free healthy snacks that were free from additives. Since then, Her products are now sold in leading stores including Asda, Sainsburys, The Co-operative and Ocado.  

Alongside her FSB award win, she is also the youngest winner of the National Natwest Everywoman Artemis Award for Women Entrepreneurs. and was also voted by the public as the Guardians Leader of the Year in 2016.

Lorence Nye, Economy, Finance & Tax Policy Advisor at the Federation of Small Businesses - @lorencefsb



Lorence Nye is FSB's policy advisor covering finance and tax isues. After graduating from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Political Economics, Lorence gained experiences in the financial services sector. He has since applied his knowledge of the economy and finance as an advocate of small businesses and the self-employed and has worked on the key issues facing entrepreneurs in the UK.

Lorence authored the FSB Going for Growth report, launched in November 2018.

Finpoint, FSB Funding Platform - @finpointuk


FSB members can access business loans, leasing, invoice or trade finance from over 80 banks and alternative lenders by preparing a single finance application.

The Finpoint business finance platform supports small and medium sized businesses to secure the funding they need to grow.

It helps businesses to navigate a complex funding market to find the right lender for them.