Personal Development Bureau raises £25,000 from the crowd

Unemployment service start-up Personal Development Bureau has become the second business in the UK to close a financing round through the equity crowdfunding website Crowdcube after raising £25,000 in seed capital.


Unemployment service start-up Personal Development Bureau has become the second business in the UK to close a financing round through the equity crowdfunding website Crowdcube after raising £25,000 in seed capital.

Unemployment service start-up Personal Development Bureau has become the second business in the UK to close a financing round through the equity crowdfunding website Crowdcube after raising £25,000 in seed capital.

The London-based business provides mentoring, training and support services for unemployment personnel from the police, fire service and other forces across the UK. According to a company statement, as many as 34,000 police and 75,000 armed forces personnel are expected to lose their jobs over the next three to four years and the business aims to grow to deal with an anticipated increase in demand for their services.

The £25,000 raised through the Crowdcube web-based crowdfunding platform is in return for 15 per cent equity in the business. Sixty-eight investors each contributed between £10 and £3,300 to meet the funding target.

In July, Crowdcube, which is an investment platform that offers the mass market equity in small businesses, closed its first investment, helping bodycare business Bubble & Balm raise £75,000. The securing of the growth capital fundraising for Bubble & Balm was the first time a British business has raised finance using the equity-based crowdfunding model.

Co-founders Luke Lang and Darren Westlake launched Crowdcube in March this year with six businesses, which each submitted a video pitch, images and supporting documents. The general public can invest from £10 to £5,000 in the companies, while sophisticated investors or people of high net worth are able to invest more.

It is a variation on the theme of social funding for social enterprises, which has grown in popularity since the advent of crowdsourcing, a process of going to the public for ideas. Another website, Funding Circle, specialises in arranging debt, rather than equity finance.

Personal Development Bureau founder Rupert Honywood comments, ‘Many people when they lose their jobs lose their sense of passion and purpose – it is so important that we help them to determine what is important.

Honywood continues, ‘The funds being raised will enable us to grow this business, helping the thousands of people that need our help. Crowdcube’s new method to raise capital is especially relevant to us because it enables the very people we serve, our members, to become actively engaged in the community as shareholders too.’

He adds that the business has built up an ‘army’ of advocates who are keen to see the venture succeed. It also has a network of 200 specialists who will deliver the range of free and chargeable mentoring, training and support services to ex-forces and services personnel who are facing redundancy, job loss or early retirement so that they can pursue a new career path or set up their own business.

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of GrowthBusiness.co.uk between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital. Connect with...

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