Finance and funding for music businesses
Different ways to finance your music
Finding music business finance is rarely easy, but options are available if you know where to look for them.
Common options for music business finance
The most common ways music businesses get finance and funding for their projects is through:
- self-financing your music - eg using cash from private sources, friends and family, or partners
- grants and subsidies for music - including from European, UK and Northern Ireland government, local councils, Arts Council Northern Ireland, etc
- private investment for music - including equity and angel investment, and venture capital
- debt finance for music businesses- including bank finance and loans
- crowdfunding for music projects
- music sponsorship and endorsement deals
Before you seek funding, make sure that you identify your exact needs. Ask yourself:
- what you need the money for
- how much money do you need
- how will you spend that money (and make sure that you don't overspend)
- who is your preferred funding source
- how can you approach them
Depending on the type of project you are looking to fund, some of the finance options may be better suited than others. For example, a quick overdraft may help you deal with a temporary cashflow issue, but it may not stretch enough if you are embarking an expensive tour. Likewise, crowdfunding may work well if you have strong support from your growing audience, but local grants or artist subsidies may be better suited if you are just taking off.
To maximise your chances of success, try raising funds from several sources of finance rather than just one. Make sure that you understand what the funders are looking for and what type of projects they normally support. See how to choose the right finance when starting up.