Skip to content

Frequently Asked Questions

We've put the answers to popular questions here - worth a look before you contact us. If you can't find the information you need, do get in touch via LinkedIn or the 'contact us' link at the bottom of every page.

How to use the Hub

I’m a new user, where’s the best place to start?

To get an overview of what the Hub has to offer, the best starting-point is the resources section in the top menu. From here, you can find finance providers, networks, incubators and accelerator programmes – all searchable so that you can find the perfect fit for your business. To see everything on one page, you might want to look at our site map.

What do you mean by Start, Grow, Scale?

So as to help you find information that’s relevant to you personally, we have tailored the site content to three stages of business growth. You can find these three in the top menu and we also show the relevance of every organisation, case study, event and video on the Hub. The three stages are:

  • Start – beginning with just an idea to businesses up to three years old with fewer than ten employees, usually serving a local market.
  • Grow – established businesses usually with at least five employees, seeking to expand into new markets or locations or develop a significant innovation.
  • Scale – businesses with a track record of growth, at least 10 employees and an established position in their national or regional market.

These stages are indicative only – businesses vary widely and can’t easily be fitted into categories. As you start to use the site you will get a feel for the content that is most relevant to you.

Finding finance for my business

I just want a loan from my bank, how can the Hub help me?

Before applying for a loan, we hope you’ll take a moment to consider whether that is the best option for your business. Each section of the Hub (Start, Grow, Scale) includes articles about the different kinds of finance available and how they can be used.

Once you are ready to apply, you can use the ‘find finance’ database to create a list of suitable providers for you to research – each entry has a link so you can get in touch directly with them.

Before submitting your business case, you might also want to consider joining a network that can offer guidance on your business plan and coaching on your presentation. You can search the list of networks to find one near you.

Finding information and advice

I’d like advice about my business, what can you suggest?

Financial advice needs to be tailored to your specific circumstances and provided by an authorised person, such as an accountant or finance broker. The Invest in Women Hub does not offer advice or financial guidance, only information.

For more general advice, the government’s Business Support helpline is available for businesses in England. Click on the link at the bottom of this page to view their entry, which includes details of similar services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

About the Invest in Women Hub

Who funds you?

The Hub is run by the Council for Investing in Female Entrepreneurs, a voluntary collective established to encourage and support women in business. Council members each pay a subscription, which in turn pays for maintaining and updating the website. The Council supports the work of the Alison Rose Review and is represented on the Rose Review Board.

What is CIFE Ltd, which features at the foot of every page?

CIFE Limited is a company that was created to own and run the Invest in Women Hub. The initials are taken from the Council for Investing in Female Entrepreneurs which funds the website and which is a voluntary group with no legal entity.

How do I know the information provided on the Hub is correct?

The content of the Hub is reviewed by an editorial board nominated by the Council for Investing in Female Entrepreneurs which runs the site. We welcome reviews and corrections, which can be sent via LinkedIn or the ‘contact us’ page.

Before using the website, please do read our Terms of Use and especially the section headed ‘No reliance on information’. All information is provided to help your research and decision-making. Information is not advice and should not be relied upon. Articles are provided by a wide range of contributors and will frequently include views and opinions from the authors, which also do not constitute advice.