According to recent research by the British Business Bank, small businesses are diversifying their sources of funding away from the banks and seeking support from other avenues, such as online lending platforms. This shift shows that there is much more choice for available for small businesses today than there was only a few years ago, which is excellent to see. Business can now access fast, affordable finance online in a matter of days, without even leaving their homes. Read more about the report in the Telegraph.
Another recently published report, the Scottish Business Report, shows that little information is available on how banks are planning to support their small business customers post-Brexit. The report also looks at how bank net lending (which is total lending minus repayments) has significantly dropped following the referendum. In 2017, 30 of the UK’s largest banks lent £679 million to small businesses on a net basis, whilst investors at Funding Circle alone lent £600 million. This encouraging growth wouldn’t be possible without to your continued support, so thank you!
There was record venture capital investment in UK FinTech in 2017 with £1.3 billion invested in companies working in financial technology. This represents a rise of 150 per cent since 2016 which is a bigger increase than either the US or China. Globally, two of the biggest deals were for Transferwise and Oaknorth, both UK firms. Funding Circle, Interactive Investors and Monzo made up the rest of the top five biggest deals in the UK. This is encouraging as it shows the UK shaking is off concerns of a Brexit slowdown.
In 2013, the University of Huddersfield became the first University to lend directly to businesses through a lending platform – and it continues to lead the way in this area today! Since then, the University has gone on to support over 2,000 UK small businesses through Funding Circle, including Ushiwear, a British clothing brand. Launched by husband-and-wife team Neil and Jilly Kapusi, the passionate duo were able to build on their success and go for growth after accessing finance through the platform. Read more on our blog.
To finish up, we were delighted to be named 16th in The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies. We’ll leave it to our UK MD and co-founder, James Meekings, to summarise: “Even though we now have 800 employees, we still feel like a small business. We still push for opportunity and for people to be creative.”