Don't invest unless you're prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong.
Risk Summary

Estimated reading time: 2 min

Due to the potential for losses, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) considers this investment to be high risk.

What are the key risks?

  • You could lose all the money you invest
  • Most investments are shares in start-up businesses or bonds issued by them. Investors in these shares or bonds often lose 100% of the money they invested, as most start-up businesses fail.
  • Checks on the businesses you are investing in, such as how well they are expected to perform, may not have been carried out by the platform you are investing through. You should do your own research before investing.

You won't get your money back quickly

  • Even if the business you invest in is successful, it will likely take several years to get your money back.
  • The most likely way to get your money back is if the business is bought by another business or lists its shares on an exchange such as the London Stock Exchange. These events are not common.
  • Start-up businesses very rarely pay you back through dividends. You should not expect to get your money back this way.
  • Some platforms may give you the opportunity to sell your investment early through a 'secondary market' or 'bulletin board', but there is no guarantee you will find a buyer at the price you are willing to sell.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket

  • Putting all your money into a single business or type of investment for example, is risky. Spreading your money across different investments makes you less dependent on any one to do well. A good rule of thumb is not to invest more than 10% of your money in high-risk investments. Learn more here.

The value of your investment can be reduced

  • If your investment is shares, the percentage of the business that you own will decrease if the business issues more shares. This could mean that the value of your investment reduces, depending on how much the business grows. Most start-up businesses issue multiple rounds of shares.
  • These new shares could have additional rights that your shares don't have, such as the right to receive a fixed dividend, which could further reduce your chances of getting a return on your investment.

You are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong

  • Protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), in relation to claims against failed regulated firms, does not cover poor investment performance. Try the FSCS investment protection checker.
  • Protection from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) does not cover poor investment performance. If you have a complaint against an FCA-regulated platform, FOS may be able to consider it. Learn more about FOS protection here.

If you are interested in learning more about how to protect yourself, visit the FCA's website here.

For further information about investment-based crowdfunding, visit the crowdfunding section of the FCA's website here.

Investment Campaigns

Hive's founder shortlisted for BQ's Emerging Entrepreneur award 2016

John Ryder, founder and Managing Director or Hive.HR, is one of seventeen entrepreneurs from England and Scotland who have made the shortlist for the 2016 BQ Emerging Entrepreneur awards.

At the beginning of this year, Hive.HR successfully closed out a funding round on the GrowthFunders platform, quickly going into overfunding, soon after launching their campaign. The round eventually closed out at £297,000, attracting interest from a range of retail, professional, and institutional investors.

Much of Hive.HR's success in this investment round can be attributed to John's enthusiasm and passion for the business. Click here to read our Q&A session with John. We're delighted to see that he is being recognised for his entrepreneurship by making this shortlist.

Hive.HR is a cloud application that makes it easy for business owners and HR professionals to understand, measure, and improve employee engagement in a transformational way. The idea is that through weekly, anonymous, micro-surveys, employers can measure the engagement, motivation, and productivity of their workforce.


BQ have found that there is a strong theme of social consciousness across this year's shortlisted businesses, which is fantastic as it aligns with our ethos of growth and impact. Read more about Hive.HR's positive impact potential here.

Choosing the finalists

Shortlists have been drawn up for four separate awards which celebrate entrepreneurs from the North East, Yorkshire, the West Midlands, and Scotland. Interestingly, the shortlisted entrepreneurs cover a range of sectors from manufacturing through to digital, and food and drink to property. A winner for each area will be chosen, prior to the national final at MADE festival, the UK's premier event for entrepreneurs.

Those four regional winner will be announced this Thursday (February 25th) at a dinner in Leeds, hosted by the BBC’s Mark Easton. Josh Littlejohn of Social Bite will also be there to discuss how he came to be recognised as one of Scotland’s most prolific social entrepreneurs, and how he managed to get George Clooney and Richard Branson involved in his work.

BQ’s managing director, Bryan Hoare, said: “Every year we’re amazed with the standard of the entrepreneurs who are nominated for this award, and every year it gets harder and harder to shortlist just four businesses, which is why we’ve made some special mentions this year too.

The 2015 BQ Emerging Entrepreneur Dinner

“The spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well, and we’re so pleased to be able to highlight the stories of our emerging entrepreneurs this way, with thanks to our sponsors Irwin Mitchell and Bentley Leeds.”

Andrea Cropley, corporate partner at key sponsor Irwin Mitchell, said: “Irwin Mitchell are delighted to sponsor the BQ Emerging Entrepreneur awards. Entrepreneurialism is the key driver to economic growth in the national economy, and celebrating success is an important part of making this happen.”

The North East shortlist:

One to watch: Owen Dixon of BestStudentHalls.

Congratulations to all those who made the shortlist and a huge "Good luck John!" from the GrowthFunders team. 

Start to raise investment for your company today
Driving Growth.
Creating Value.
Delivering Impact.

Backed by

Growth Capital Ventures (GCV) is backed by funds managed by Maven Capital Partners, one of the UK’s leading private equity and alternative asset managers.