Speeding up the funding process

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Six years ago Murdo Macleod walked into the Crossgates branch of HSBC armed with little other than a business plan and a cocktail of ideas.

He secured a £15,000 loan to start pop-up cocktail bar firm Zest Mixology, based at the Dolly Lane Business Centre.

Now he has runs an operation in Leeds and London, employs 10 full time staff and a uses a cohort of 50 expert mixologists for his bespoke private and corporate events which are being expanded in London in a new project.

Mr Macleod, 40, will be among those giving advice and perhaps even financial backing at an event in Leeds next week to link up start-ups and small businesses with funding houses and investors.

‘Show me the Money’ is a two-hour-long cash whirlwind, a collaboration between small business support group Enterprise Nation, HSBC and leading UK professional services firm KPMG. where business founders work the room with a view to making deals to secure seed funding or growth capital.

Mr Macleod said: “In 2011 I walked into the HSBC branch and had a meeting with the relationships manager armed with my ideas. She said it was the best business plan she had ever seen and leant me £15,000.

“It allowed me to buy the kit and events equipment I needed to start Zest Mixology and I paid back the loan in 24 months.”

Investors attending include: Funding Nav, GrantTree, HSBC, KPMG, WGN accountants, Financial Pulse, Pension Bee, Transmit Start-ups (Start Up Loans), ERDF Ad:Venture Project, Enterprise and Innovation Hub at Leeds Beckett University, rebuildingsociety.com,Business Enterprise Fund.

The speed-funding event is at HSBC,1 Bond Court in the city centre on Wednesday May 24 from 6pm.