Entrepreneurs and small business owners in Wales could potentially gain £50,000 from a digital lottery, organised by the proposed Development Bank for Wales.
Edwina Hart, who is the minister for business, enterprise, technology and science for the Welsh government, commissioned a report in March that a Development Bank for Wales should be created to combat the growing bank funding gap being experienced by SMEs.
As well as proposals for a development bank, concluded from the report was the necessity to give more SMEs, start-ups and micro-businesses funding. Hart suggested that an entrepreneurial lottery be created, where publicly-owned banks should work with high street banks and other private sector lenders to provide growth finance to SMEs in Wales.
The requirements for Welsh entrepreneurs to enter the lottery are simple. Entrants would have to complete a “simple one page business plan”, highlighting their employment numbers and stating what their company hopes to achieve. The proposal is that the lottery be held every two months.
‘‘All entries would go into a ‘digital hat’ and the winner would receive the £50,000 over time against invoiced expenses associated with the start-up. Managerial and sectoral help will then be assigned to the winner from available sources,” explains to the report.
The document also recommends a number of alternatives designed to help SMEs.
One of the ideas is to have ‘televised crowdfunding’ operating within Wales. A television show, similar to BBC’s Dragons Den would see entrepreneurs present their idea for a new business and the general public, instead of a group of wealthy investors could crowdfund the company via their digital devices, with shares being priced at £1 each.