2020 vision for Funding Circle Partners

2019 was a record breaking year for the Funding Circle partnerships team. To date, this team and all their registered partners have helped facilitate over £150 million across more than 1400 businesses, impacting the lives of countless business owners within numerous sectors. We believe our referral partners will be integral in allowing Funding Circle to deliver a faster and better service to more small businesses this year.

Team changes

Fran Warrington has recently taken over as Head of Referral Partnerships for the UK. Fran has been with Funding Circle for just over a year, working with many of our key partners during this time and building partnerships in the London and South East region. Prior to Funding Circle, Fran worked in other commercial roles including Google, Gartner and Start Up Loans. 

Fran and the team are excited to grow to a team of 12, and in doing so, being able to support even more partners throughout 2020. Things to look out for will be:

New hires 

As they continue to grow this year, Fran and the team will be joined in by 3 new team members in the London and Northern regions. Ronan Gallagher joins as Partnerships Manager, Angus Pollard and Emi Siemieniako both join as Partnerships Executives. All 3 have extensive experience working with both partners and borrowers in the lending space. 

More events

The partnerships team and wider business value our registered partners and will continue to look for new opportunities to enhance our partner experience. Over 2020 the team will be in attendance at many events, partner conferences and will also be taking part in a Funding Circle Charity Gala.

TaxAssist partnership 

Key strategic partners in 2020 will be essential to our continued success and the team was excited to announce the onboarding of the TaxAssist Group at the end of 2019. 

“Funding Circle exists to support the growth of small businesses. Through our partnership with TaxAssist Group, we look forward to helping their small business clients access the finance they need to go even further. We offer a modern approach to finance; a simple online application powered by innovative technology and data analytics, accessible no matter where a business is based.” 

Lisa Jacobs, Funding Circle UK MD 

2019 was an amazing year for the Partnerships team, they helped facilitate over £65 million to over 600 businesses. They also onboarded numerous partners across the country, who are now able to offer their clients different options and a more enhanced service. As we move into 2020, Funding Circle recognise how integral for all our registered partners and their clients will be in enabling us to achieve our goals. We understand the importance you will play as we continue to build a better financial world and help more businesses go further. 




The impact of our Introducer Marketing Service

Funding Circle is a leading global small business loans platform, connecting small businesses who want to borrow with investors who want to lend in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands. At Funding Circle, our mission is to build a better financial world and give small business owners and investors a better deal.

As the Funding Circle Introducer team, it’s our mission to help your clients get the finance they deserve to build their business. To date, our Introducer network has helped us lend £1.4 billion to British small businesses.

We aim to do everything we can to offer an innovative service to our Introducers and their clients, including offering an effective direct marketing programme that Introducers can take advantage of, free-of-charge. Our unique email and direct mail campaigns deliver carefully constructed marketing messages to over 2,500 of our Introducer’s clients every four weeks. 

The messages and creatives differ from month to month, and are crafted by our experienced and specialist marketing team. These communications encourage clients to engage with their Introducer directly, enhancing their existing relationship whilst enabling them access to fast, affordable finance.

At Funding Circle, we have an internal policy in place to ensure that if your client does come to us directly as a result of a marketing campaign, they are referred back to you as the original Introducer. We honor these relationships and see the value of the Introducer relationship for the client.

To date, this has provided our Introducers with over £10 million of incremental lending, at no extra cost to them.

We truly value the support of our Introducers and will continue to provide you with enhanced unique offerings throughout the year.

Is your business your baby?

On January 1st 2020 two things happened; we launched into a new decade and our singing baby landed on your TV screens. 

Our new ad follows on from the success of Captain Galactic and friends, who we watched soar through the skies and into the stratosphere. Our arcade-themed characters represented all the small businesses out there who are passionate and determined, doing extraordinary things every day and going further with the help of our business loans.

Now our singing baby tells the same message through a different story. 

Set in an ordinary UK city, dawn is breaking and we see a small baby waking up for the new day. Wriggling in its bed to the sounds of the Alice Cooper track, I am the future, our baby does something no-one expects a small baby should be able to – breaks out into a show-stopping version of the song. 

We know that for many business owners, their business is their baby and just like our baby they have the potential to go further.

We believe small businesses in the UK really are the future. We see them creating jobs, helping communities and driving our economy forward.

If you would like to share the amazing things your business—or your baby—is doing, please share and tag us on #thefutureissmall. You are the future! 

Watch our baby here.

How we’ve implemented the new regulations

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) began regulating the peer-to-peer or platform lending industry in 2014. They announced at the time that they would open a ‘post-implementation’ review in 2016 to assess how the regulations were working alongside developments and innovation in the sector. After conducting their review, in June they announced new regulations for the industry. 

At Funding Circle we’ve always welcomed regulation and have worked with the FCA and industry associations to raise standards across the sector. Our teams have been working behind the scenes to make sure the required changes are ready in time. Below you can read more about some of the changes we have made and how they will affect you.  

Extra steps for new investors

New investors on lending platforms now need to take an ‘appropriateness assessment’. This will help to ensure customers understand how the platform that they are signing up to works, the risks involved in investing on that platform, and the nature of the investment the platform offers. At Funding Circle, this takes the form of an Investor Quiz that you can take within your account. 

Separately, investors will be asked to identify themselves as an everyday, sophisticated or high net worth investor. Investors who classify themselves as an everyday investor can only lend up to 10% of their investable assets in their first year using a lending platform. After a year, investors can choose to change their classification to sophisticated investor, at which point they can increase their lending beyond this 10% limit. This is aimed at helping investors develop their understanding of the product with a limited investment and is a requirement under the new FCA rules.

How will this affect you?

If you joined the platform more than 12 months ago, you don’t need to take any immediate action. You can continue to lend to businesses as normal through your account and we may request that you select your investor profile when you next log in.

Depending on how long you’ve been investing with Funding Circle, we may also ask you to complete the Investor Quiz before you can add any more funds to your account. Simply log in to your account and follow the link from your Summary page. Your existing loans and all other features of your account will continue as normal.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Investor Support team at contactus@fundingcircle.com.

Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk. Funding Circle is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Enjoy lending!

The Funding Circle team

Loan Purposes we can help with

At Funding Circle we want to help fund all of your clients’ business needs. Every business has unique requirements and will be at different stages in their journey, so our loans can be used for a huge variety of needs.  Some of the most popular include:

Working capital – Working capital is the lifeblood of any business. Healthy cash flow allows business owners to pursue new opportunities and win more business. It saves them time, gives them greater peace of mind, and the breathing space to make the best long term decisions for them.

Refurbishment of premises – From office space to shop fronts, refurbishing business premises can be transformative. We can provide finance for refurbishment and spread the repayments over 5 years.

Hiring staff – The entire process of taking on extra staff can be costly and time consuming. Taking finance can allow  your clients to either outsource this process or conduct it in house. We’ve helped thousands of businesses for this very purpose. 

Buying new equipment/machinery – Equipment and key pieces of machinery can breakdown unexpectedly or become out of date. Often, this can be a significant outlay and cause delays in production. We can provide finance for business owners to purchase equipment and machinery. All our loans are unsecured (backed by a personal guarantee) so this means your client would own the equipment from the outset.

Deposits for property purchases – Business owners will often need full deposits before being able to apply for commercial mortgages. We can provide the funds for this, which means your clients can go to their bank, secure the full mortgage and then settle in full with us. They can repay in full with no early settlement or exit fees, making the process ideal for this scenario.

Stock purchases – Many of your clients will go through busier and quieter periods. It is important that they are prepared and can take advantage of busier times. We can help with providing finance for large stock purchases, which can provide your clients with peace of mind and often reduce overall costs.

Tax funding – Tax bills can creep up on business owners and often leave large unforseen dents in their cash flow. We can provide finance to cover the bill and spread cost out over up to 60 months. 

Funding a new project or product – For your clients, it is imperative that they stay commercially competitive and come up with new ideas to engage their current client base and attract new customers.

Refinancing existing debt – We also offer loans to refinance existing business debt. As long as the debt is registered under the business rather than anyone personally we can look to consolidate that into one repayment. This can often be easier to maintain and can reduce your monthly outgoings, assisting with cash flow.

What can’t we cover?

There are a few loan purposes that we are unable to help with: 

Refinancing of personal debt – We’re unable to provide finance for the consolidation of personal debt. Even if the debt was taken out for the purpose of benefiting the business, if it  is under a personal name we’ll be unable to help.

Onwards lending – We can’t help if the funds are going to be passed outside the business that has applied to either an individual or another business. The finance we provide must stay within the business and directly benefit the business is applying.

Speculative ventures that aren’t related to the core activity of the business – We’ll need to see how the loan purpose will benefit the business. It cannot deviate too far from the core activity of the business. For example, if your client owns a bakery but wants to expand into I.T. sales, this wouldn’t be something we could provide finance for.

Are you a looking for fast, affordable funding solution for your clients now?

Get in touch with our Partnerships Team at ukpartners@fundingcircle.com or give them a call on 0203 308 9708.

Natalie Dormer, Michael Palin and Twiggy join Funding Circle and Just A Card to support independent bookshops

Back in November 2018, Funding Circle partnered with grass-roots campaign ‘Just A Card’ to support Indie Week – the colourful alternative to Black Friday – encouraging people to shop from independent retailers. Well, we are excited to announce that we’ve joined forces with Just A Card again and, this time, some famous faces are joining our campaign to get Britain supporting independent bookshops.

Fifteen household names have lent their support to our new campaign – called ‘Just A Book’ – to support Britain’s independent bookshops. Dominic Cooper, Natalie Dormer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Richard E. Grant, Felicity Jones, Hanif Kureishi, Alex Lanipekun, Hayley Mills, James Norton, David Oakes, Michael Palin, Bruce Robinson, Greta Scacchi and Twiggy have all been photographed reading their favourite books, to show their support for independent bookshops.

James Meekings, Funding Circle co-founder and UK Managing Director says “Our philosophy is that when small businesses thrive, everyone benefits. Independent bookshops and retailers are important to the economy and our local communities. We want everyone to get behind this campaign.” Just A Card’s belief is that all sales – no matter how small – are vital in supporting independent businesses. “Just a book, just a card, just a gift… they all add up and are critical to small business success” says founder Sarah Hamilton. “We’re challenging shoppers to think about where they spend their money, and show how much they value the independent bookshops that make our high streets so special.”

The stars’ photographs, shot by acclaimed photographer Charlie Gray, will appear on posters on the London Underground from Monday June 17. Just A Card and Funding Circle are encouraging everyone who cares about small business to join in and support the campaign.

Join in on social media

Like and share our posts to help us spread the campaign message, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #justsupportsmall.

Follow @FundingCircleUK and @justacard on Instagram and Twitter to take part in our Treasure Hunt. Can you spot all fifteen posters around the London Underground? Share photos of the posters you spot and tag us, and you could win £100 of book tokens to spend at your favourite independent bookshop. (See full terms and conditions). Are you a bookshop or book publisher? Tell us about your business on social media and we’ll give you a shout out!

Ready to FlashMob?

If you’re in London, come along to London Bridge station on Wednesday June 19 and meet other Just A Book supporters. Follow us on social media for more details.

Support your local independent bookshop

Why not visit your local bookshop and buy a book. You’ll be supporting a small business AND you’ll improve your commute.

Support the Just A Card campaign

If you’re an independent retailer, get your window sticker and pins at www.justacard.org. We hear from retail businesses that they are changing the way people shop.




Top present ideas from businesses you’ve helped

Looking for some inspiration for presents this Christmas? Below you will find seven dazzling and delicious gift ideas to wow your loved ones. These fantastic companies have all been able to succeed thanks to your lending.

Inside out toys

Are you struggling to think of something to buy the little ones? Inside out Toys sell branded children’s toys on Amazon and Ebay; providing endless hours of amusement and important learning tools.  They are a family owned company; established in 2011 by Nicki and Julian Garner. They have borrowed over £460,000 across seven loans to develop their ‘jumini’ wooden toy range and to purchase more stock.

Enjoy travel

Is your loved one obsessed with travelling? Or perhaps they just need a break away? Make sure you check out Enjoy Travel and their amazing deals. They are a fully licenced tour operator who specialise in finding you your perfect break away. Gerry and his team pride themselves on providing the most enjoyable, memorable music-filled holidays available. With thanks to your investment , Enjoy Travel has been able to create several new music festivals across Europe, including their latest ‘Celtic on the Coastas’ which has just been launched.

Wine Discovery

If you haven’t bought the perfect gift for the wine lover in your life, don’t worry! You can book a relaxing wine tasting event at their home or chosen venue from Wine Discovery Limited. Weather they are looking for an introduction to wine tasting or just want to spend time with friends this is the perfect gift. Their prices start from £25.00 per person; offering a range of different experiences. The company borrowed £6,000 in 2017 to improve their website and buy additional stock.

Bedale Beauty

Looking to push the boat out when it comes to your Christmas shopping this year? If you are on the hunt for something memorable, then check out the treatments available at Bedale Beauty in North Yorkshire. They opened in 1992 and are known locally for their high standard of treatments, product ranges and customer service. They offer the perfect range of Gift Sets; ranging from make up collections, bathing products and many more. The team borrowed £25,000 from investors to push forward with their expansion plans and change the layout of the salon.

Grasmere Chocolate Cottage

Christmas time calls for some festival indulgence- so why not celebrate in style by purchasing a chocolate box from Grasmere Chocolate Cottage Limited! Their aim is to create culinary and visual delights worthy of their iconic Lake District surroundings.  Richard and Angela Barker managed to expand their premises and staffing with a £30,000 loan. Their chocolate goodies are all handmade, so make sure to check them out!

Red Star Brewery

Instead of spending Christmas at your local, surprise your Dad by booking a unique beer tasting experience at Red Star Brewery in Merseyside. The company was formed in 2015 by two friends with the aim to produce ales using the finest hops from around the world. They have since gone on to export beers as far as Serbia and won two gold medals at the 2015 NW Siba awards. The team borrowed £10,000.00 to purchase 150 casks to keep up with their demanding customers.

A thriving bike shop, thanks to you and ActionCOACH

Following his passion for bikes, 10 years ago Jake Voelcker took a leap and launched his own business: Jake’s Bicycles. His friendly and approachable workshop in the heart of Bristol offers affordable and high-quality service for all levels, from occasional riders to sports enthusiasts.

After a few years of strong growth, Jake saw the potential to inspire even more people to get into cycling. Through his experience servicing bikes and discussions with customers, he started designing and manufacturing his own line of bicycles with the goal to provide a comfortable cycling experience. In March 2015 he launched his own brand, Bristol Bicycles, entirely hand built and assembled in his workshop, offering the high attention to detail that mass production factories can’t replicate.

However, building a successful business is far from simple and external support was necessary to identify key focus areas. Gary, a Business Coach at ActionCOACH, has now been working with Jake for more than a year, providing guidance on how to develop the brand as efficiently as possible.

Based on the business evolution and Jake’s objectives, Gary quickly realised Bristol Bicycles needed a cash flow boost to grow. Having worked with Funding Circle for over 18 months, he did not hesitate to recommend us and was confident Jake would get a fast decision on his application.

Learn more about Jake and Gary’s experience using Funding Circle in the video below.

Since partnering in 2016, our relationships with the different business coaches from ActionCOACH has allowed many small businesses access more than £4 million in lending. We look forward to helping even more together in the years to come.

Are you interested in lending to businesses like Bristol Bicycles?

Lend alongside 77,000 investors and support small businesses across the UK by signing up online today. You can use our investor information guide to help you get started and there are thousands of loans which you can be a part of, making it quick and easy to build a diversified portfolio. Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Partner with Funding Circle

We work with a wide range of corporate and bank partners to help UK businesses access much needed finance. Email our Partnerships team at ukpartners@fundingcircle.com to find out how we can work together.

Yoga, Pilates or Bodybarre? How will you stay in shape this year?

The decision to become fitter is usually top of people’s new year’s resolutions and for good reason. Many of the world’s most well-known and successful entrepreneurs consider yoga, pilates and other forms of physical fitness as an essential ingredient for their continued success. These 5 local businesses are helping the UK get in shape, so where will you start?

Record your every move at Be X Fitness

Established in 2013, this Barnsley-based fitness center offers team workouts using high tech equipment so you can get the most out of your workout. Thanks to My Zone, the connected tracking technology, users can record their every move, analyse performance and receive personalised training advice from coaches.


To support growth, Kevin Yates applied for a business loan through Funding Circle in November 2017. They accessed £106,000 in less than one week, meaning they could take on the next opportunity quickly.

Physio by Pea Green to keep you energised

Stephanie Smith launched Oxfordshire-based Pea Green Physio back in 2008. Eight years on she decided she wanted to expand into yoga and pilates and needed a business loan to open a studio. Pea Green now offers yoga and pilates classes alongside sports massages and rehabilitation therapy after raising £25,000 through Funding Circle.


Rediscover fitness with Paola’s Bodybarre

Forget what you know about traditional fitness classes and embrace Paola Di Lanzo’s multidisciplinary workout methods. From light sessions focusing on technique, alignment and flexibility, to high intensity training and weight-lifting, the wide range of classes will help you find the exercise you’re looking for. After opening her first studio in Fulham in 2014, Paola’s BodyBarre is now available in 7 other pop-ups, affiliated studios and private members clubs around London. Paula expanded the business with a £53,000 loan to open a new flagship studio in Sloane Square.

Paola's Bodybarre Studio

Yoga gets you in the right headspace

The meditation classes at London-based Yogacentric are said to improve your mental focus by connecting your mind and body. If meditation isn’t for you and you’re looking for something more active, try their hot yoga or one to one sessions. All levels are welcome.


Daniel Percival came to Funding Circle in 2016 as he wanted to grow his London studio. He secured £53,200 over 5 years to finance working capital and the fit-out of a second location.

Keep moving at Alderley Pilates

Jan and Peter Bowen founded their pilates business in Cheshire 15 years ago. The studio brings talented teachers and enthusiasts of all levels together in a friendly and relaxed environment. All of their trainers are certified by Body Control Pilates, the largest European professional pilates’ organisation.


Alderley Pilates first came to Funding Circle for a business loan in 2014. Finance from Funding Circle has helped them refurbish their premises and upgrade their website to grow the business.

Picture story: Are you helping people enjoy the great outdoors?

Ready for an adventure? The Channel Group offers a range of exhilarating outdoor activities and personal development programmes. Based in Minehead, the Adventure Centre neighbours Exmoor National Park. Whilst admiring the beautiful landscape, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities such as kayaking, outdoor swimming, coastal rafting, canoeing and much more. “It’s the California of West Somerset” according to business owner Jim.

The Adventure Centre has activities for all ages and abilities, including The Grom Squad aimed at children aged 8 to 16. A great present or action packed day out for all the family!

The Channel Group has borrowed over £130,000 across multiple loans through Funding Circle since 2015. This allowed them to hire more staff and buy the highest quality equipment to grow their business. In this picture story, see the Channel Group in action and meet Jim:

Thriving outdoors activities company

One simple mission

The Adventure Cente

Exmoor National Park

To name a few activities

Bonding with family, friends or work colleagues

Grom Squad

Smiles on faces

Borrowed £130,000

Funding Circle is about that

Funding Circle could help your business grow

Are you interested in lending to businesses like Channel Group?

Lend alongside 63,000 investors and support small businesses across the UK by signing up online today. You can use our investor information guide to help you get started and there are thousands of loans which you can be a part of, making it quick and easy to build a diversified portfolio. Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Looking to expand your business?

More than 26,000 UK businesses have accessed finance through Funding Circle, helping with cash flow, refurbishment, hiring staff and much more. You can check if you qualify for a business loan online in just 30 seconds.

Sharing the voice of British small businesses

We wanted to make the views of British businesses heard, so we asked thousands of you for your thoughts on the year ahead. In the space of four days, more than 2,300 of you told us about your investment intentions, turnover expectations and also your position on the upcoming general election.

What we discovered is that small businesses are going for growth, unfazed by the uncertainty caused by last year’s referendum result and the snap election. Nearly 70% of UK small businesses expect their turnover to increase within the next 12 months – half of whom expect a steady increase of between 6 and 20%, and only 6% expect turnover to decrease.

Small businesses, who already account for 60% of private sector employment, will continue to drive much needed job creation this year. More than half of the businesses we spoke to are planning to hire at least one new full-time member of staff over the next year. With more than 5 million small businesses across the country – this could mean the creation of millions of new jobs in the next 12 months!

Ahead of the election, small business owners told us that they’re three times more likely to vote for the Conservative Party over the Labour Party. In total, 41% said that they plan on voting Conservative, whilst 13% said Labour and 9% said they intended to vote for the Liberal Democrats.

Support for the Conservatives comes despite 49% saying they voted Remain in last year’s EU referendum, demonstrating a level of confidence in the party to deliver Brexit regardless of how business owners voted in the referendum.

When asked what their one policy priority is in the run up to the election, tax was by far the most important issue. With business rates mentioned specifically nearly 300 times, 40% said that they want the new Government to focus on this area after the election. The second most important policy area, according to a quarter of businesses, was of course Brexit.

Investors at Funding Circle include 60,000 individuals, local and national government, the European Investment Bank and financial institutions such as pension funds. By opening up small business lending to a wide range of investors, Funding Circle has improved competition in the market, supported job creation and reduced small business dependency on bank lending.

To date investors have lent £2.2 billion to more than 23,000 UK small businesses. Businesses funded through the platform typically access the capital they need in seven days, and independent research found that 94% of businesses would come back to Funding Circle first in future.


If you’re a small business looking for finance, visit our website to check if you qualify in just 30 seconds.

Preparing for your financial year end

Whether you carefully track everything all year round, or sort it all with two weeks to go, preparing for your financial year end is important for every business. If you’re about to get things in order for your business, we’ve put together a short guide to help your year end go as smoothly as possible.

What is a year end?

A ‘year end’ is the term used to describe the accounting documents you need to complete at the end of your financial year. What you need to submit depends on your business, but for a limited company you’ll at least need to file a corporate tax return to HMRC, and abbreviated accounts to Companies House.

Your year end accounts are publicly available, and will be checked by potential partners or investors you want to work with, or by lenders if you want to get a loan.

  • Corporate Tax Return – details the income you’ve received and any expenses or tax allowances. It’s important to get these figures right, as the remaining profit will be used to decide how much corporation tax you need to pay.
  • Abbreviated accounts – gives a broad view of your company’s finances, including your profit and loss, cash held, assets, creditors and debtors.

Key steps to get ready

Before you can file your accounts, you’ll need to do a lot of work to get all the information and documents you need. Here are a few key steps you can take to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Chase unpaid invoices

You want your books to be as accurate as possible, so you need to know exactly what you have and what’s missing. Chase down any outstanding invoices, then check the final amount matches with your records. If there’s any discrepancies you should investigate these before submitting your accounts.

Count your stock

If you have stock this should be handled in a similar way. Complete a full inventory of all your stock and log if there’s any discrepancies with your records. If there’s stock missing you can try to chase it down, or count it as a loss if it can’t be traced.

Get your expenses in order

Collecting expenses and receipts from all your staff is a crucial and often time consuming job. Business expenses are deducted from your profits which means you’ll have less tax to pay, so it’s worth putting the time in.

HMRC defines an expense as something ‘wholly and exclusively’ for business use. They can often be small amounts like lunch or transport, but can add up and make a difference over the year.

There’s a host of apps available to help track expenses and accounting. Read more in our Top Business Apps blog.

Check your employee data

Double check all your employee data is accurate. You as the employer are liable for any mistakes in income tax or national insurance contributions, not the employee. So to avoid having to ask your employees for some of their wages back later on, make sure it’s all up to date.

File your paperwork

Accounts need records to back them up, so make sure all your paperwork is organised and filed so that you can access them easily. This could be either hard copies or online. If you don’t have a record of something, this is the time to get statements from your bank, or statements of account from suppliers. Get everything in order before filing your year end, so if HMRC ask questions you’ll have evidence at the ready.

Work together to get prepared

Don’t leave it up to one person to chase down everything. Everyone in the business should be helping get the documents you need, whether it’s receipts for expenses, supplier contracts, or missing invoices. Get the word out early so that everything is submitted in plenty of time. Then whoever manages your accounts can bring it all together.

We’re celebrating £2 billion lent to UK businesses

It’s been six and a half years since Funding Circle was launched with a big idea, to revolutionise the way small businesses access finance. This week we’re proud to announce that we’re celebrating £2 billion in lending to small UK businesses.

£2 billion lent to UK businesses including Celia's

The numbers behind £2 billion

21,000 businesses have benefited from Funding Circle finance since 2010, and an estimated 40,000 jobs have been created as a result of this. Job creation makes a real difference to the economy, showing the direct impact Funding Circle investors are having on the UK. A total of £107.5 million* has also been earned in interest by 58,000 investors, after fees and bad debt.

What it really means

Reaching £2 billion is more than just a milestone. It means investors can get a good return on their money — whether they’re saving for retirement, a new house or for a rainy day.

And it means more business owners can go on to do extraordinary things; like Celia pictured above, who used her loan to open an award-winning cafe in Somerset. Find out what other extraordinary things our borrowers have achieved after accessing finance in this short video. 


If you’re interested in lending to companies like Celia’s, you can earn a current estimated return of 7%* per year^. Join the 58,000 people who are already lending.

If you’re looking for business finance, our fast, hassle-free loans can be with you in just one week. You can check your eligibility in 30 seconds. 

Your actual return may be higher or lower as your capital is at risk when lending to businesses.

*Correct as of 16 February 2017

^Correct as of 23 February 2017

Business apps we love for small business owners

Business apps

Whether they’re saving you time, increasing your productivity, or making you more secure, installing amazing new business apps is the workplace equivalent of opening presents on Christmas day. Those “How did we manage before?” moments give everyone a lift, and mark another step forward in the evolution of your business.

There are lots of fantastic business apps around that could help. Here are a few that we think could make a big difference to small businesses everywhere.

LastPass – keep all your passwords in one place

We use more online programs and services than ever before. They make our lives easier, simplify business processes, and improve productivity. Until you forget your password — then you’re stuck.

If you’re tired of resetting forgotten passwords then LastPass is an essential. It stores all your passwords in one place, so you only have to remember one. LastPass will log you straight into sites in just one click, and let you share passwords simply and securely across teams.

It will even add to your online security by creating complex passwords for you, so you don’t have ‘childsfirstname86’ as the password on all your accounts.

Slack – the messaging app to save you from your inbox

Ever had days where all you do is look through, read and send emails? If your inbox is an exasperating drain on your time, then Slack could be the answer to your prayers.

Slack is an internal messaging app that lets teams, departments and whole businesses speak to each other easily. As well as direct messages, you can set up channels for specific topics (industry news, customer feedback) to keep everyone informed. Then if you start a new project, you can create a channel for the people involved.

The big difference is being able to easily navigate to the conversation you want, rather than digging through old emails. You can also share files and images, and set up channels with suppliers or partners if they have it too. There’s a whole host of useful plugins as well — for example you can set up a report to pull in performance data every week so it’s shared with your team automatically.

Intuit Quickbooks – simple, straightforward accounting

Managing your financial accounts and keeping your books up to date is vital for making informed business decisions. If you struggle to keep track there are lots of different tools around to help, but even if you have a dedicated accounts team, Intuit Quickbooks could make the whole process easier and more efficient.

Quickbooks gives you a real-time view of your financial accounts so you can make up to the minute decisions. It simplifies expenses and invoice tracking, helps you calculate tax and can be used to run your payroll. Bringing together essential features at reasonable costs, this easy to use business app will save you heaps of time, and probably a few headaches too.

Wunderlist – organise your life

Are you a list maker? Do you get kicks from crossing out completed tasks? Or do you just keep everything upstairs and back yourself to remember? Either way, Wunderlist could help you.

Wunderlist helps you track all your tasks on its straightforward interface. It has features you would expect like setting reminders and making notes, but also lets you share items with friends or co-workers and allows them comment, so you can see any feedback right there in your workflow. And it syncs across all your devices so you never miss a task again.

For more tips on managing your time more effectively, read our Take 10 blog.

Salesforce – the easy way to manage your sales leads

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems can be complex and confusing for everyone except the guy who installed it. However, tracking all your customer prospects, leads, and existing customers is crucial to keep those sales coming in. Salesforce is the king of CRM and sales pipeline tools, and although it’s seen by many as an enterprise level solution, it has a range of plans to suit different budgets and needs.

The basic package comes with the lead tracking essentials. You can then upgrade for extra data capabilities and campaign management, or go for the premium package for deep integration and customisation.

It’s functionality makes it the leading CRM tool for small businesses globally, and it has the options you’ll need as your business grows.

If you’re looking for a loan to help grow or better manage your business, you can check if you qualify for a Funding Circle loan in just 30 seconds.

Unsecured loans vs secured loans and what is a personal guarantee?

Unsecured loans explained

Welcome to our new Explainer series, where we’ll be helping you understand common phrases in more detail. We want to help clear up any terms you’re not familiar with, so you can make informed decisions on which loan is right for you.

First up we’re taking a look at personal guarantees and the difference between secured loans and unsecured loans. Looking from a borrower’s point of view, below we outline what the terms mean in general. We’ll then go into more detail on what to expect at Funding Circle.

For the most part, secured and unsecured business loans are very similar (although property loans can differ). You get a lump sum, then pay it back in installments with added interest. The key difference comes if you are unable to pay off the loan:

Secured Loans

With a secured loan, you put forward something of value as a ‘security’. This could be property, land, equipment or other assets. If you stop repaying your loan the lender could take this asset and sell it to recover the unpaid amount. The loan is secured against the asset or assets chosen.

Unsecured Loans

With an unsecured loan, you do not put forward any assets as a security. That means you don’t have to give up your property, land, or other assets if you can’t make the repayments. The lender may ask instead for a personal guarantee, or simply trust you are creditworthy enough to repay the loan.

What is a Personal Guarantee?

A personal guarantee is an agreement that the person(s) involved will cover the cost of the loan if the business is unable to repay it. Typically this is the Director(s) of the company. They become the guarantor of the loan, meaning their personal assets could be taken if the business fails or is otherwise unable to repay the loan.

Pros and cons

Unsecured loans are usually quicker to apply for as they require no valuation of assets. They are also a useful option if your business doesn’t have any high value assets that you can use as a security.

However, sometimes unsecured loans can have a higher interest rate as the lender is taking a greater risk. Being creditworthy enough to qualify can also be very difficult. Providing a personal guarantee can counter both these problems.

If, however, you would like to keep your personal finances completely separate, a secured loan may be your preferred option.

How does it work at Funding Circle?

At Funding Circle businesses borrow directly from our range of investors, including people, local councils and institutions. They provide all the capital for our loans, and if the loans they fund are not repaid, they could lose part or all of their investment.

So, to help us give investors greater peace of mind about the money they lend, we ask for a personal guarantee from company shareholders on almost all of our business loans.  

Unlike some other lenders, at Funding Circle the interest rate you have to pay on your loan will not be affected whether you choose to get a secured loan or an unsecured loan with a personal guarantee. For business loans our interest rate is determined by your risk band (although again property loans can differ). This is worked out using a number of factors such as your credit history, turnover and company finances.

All decisions regarding risk bands and the type of security required are taken by Funding Circle’s Credit Assessment team.

Looking for a secured or unsecured business loan?

You can check your eligibility for a business loan from Funding Circle in 30 seconds.

Take 10 – How to engage users and manage reputation on Social Media

Take 10 blog banner

With an estimated 2.3 billion users worldwide, social media provides huge opportunities to grow your customer base and build powerful relationships. According to Time magazine, 81% of consumers would have more faith in a company if they use social media, and millennials (those born from the early 80s to early 2000s) will be more likely to listen to social media users when making a purchase decision than anything said by government, business, or religious institutions.

However, making effective use of your chosen social media platforms isn’t easy. In our Take 10 series we’ve already looked at how to get started on social media, and how to take advantage of Facebook advertising. Now we want to look at some simple tips on how to build engaging relationships with your customers while managing and protecting your reputation.

1. Speak naturally

No one wants to talk to a robot. Social media is about connecting with people and building relationships, so don’t be afraid to let your personality come across in your posts. Getting a stock reply can make people feel unvalued, whereas being personal will help build trust in you and your brand. Engage with people and talk to them directly by using ‘you’ and ‘your’, and make sure you keep the tone consistent if more than one of you are posting.

2. Replying is more important than talking

Any opportunity to speak directly with a customer is important, whether it’s on social media, email, phone, or on your website. The difference with social media is that your response is in the public domain, so you can quickly gain or lose fans depending on what you do.

If you hide away from replying to a complaint, people will speculate or get more frustrated. If you try to challenge them, it could escalate and get worse. Take comments seriously, show empathy and apologise. Even if it wasn’t your fault, say you’re sorry they’ve had a bad experience. Provide information if possible and ask for details so you can call or message them directly.

Think of it as any other customer service channel. If you take time to respond to people and give them a great experience, you’ll add to your reputation and customer loyalty. Remember to use their tag (@name on twitter, name on Facebook etc) so that your post then appears on their network. Then if they like or share your response, you get a free advert of your great service!

Social media reputationHaving invested time and effort into their Twitter profile, Newton Farm Foods now have customers tweeting about their visits to their cafe and posting pictures of their flower displays.

3. Turn everyday events into content

Creating content doesn’t have to be time consuming. Capturing everyday events is an easy way of adding content for your social channels, and can help promote your products to your customers.

When anything gets you excited, take a photo and share it. It could be some fresh stock in your store (It’s strawberry season and these have just arrived fresh from the farm!), a new van for your fleet (Meet Terry, the newest member of our crew), or hiring a new staff member (We have a new Pastry Wizard joining our kitchen today – say hello to Jenny!).

If you’re setting up a seasonal display, or have filled your warehouse with 10,000 boxes for your peak sales period, let people know. These ‘behind the scenes’ posts help customers get to know your business better, building on your relationship while promoting your product or service. Always remember to tag users and use hashtags to reach a wider audience.

4. Curate content, start discussions

You don’t have to come up with everything yourself. Sharing articles, news, and photos from other sources is a great way to add variety to your posts and bulk out your content.

Think about what your customers are interested in that relates to your business. If you’re a bakery maybe that’s pictures of superhero cakes on instagram. If you’re an IT company it could be an exciting new technology launch. You can then use those posts as the starting point of a discussion — ask for people to share some favourite cake examples of their own, or for opinions on the news article you’ve posted.  

By adding content from elsewhere you avoid talking about yourself all the time and coming across as too salesy. Your followers will then get more value from your social channels, be more likely to engage with you, and be more likely to return.

Social media engagement
Pampeano ran a competition asking their followers to post pictures of any Pampeano gifts they received at Christmas, getting customers to talk about their products and creating a buzz around their brand.

Remember, engaged customers will advertise your business for you

Whether you’re one man band or have an in-house marketing team, managing social media can seem too time consuming to be worth the hassle. However, with a little effort, social media can turn your customers into brand ambassadors, building stronger relationships with them and giving you free advertising all at the same time.

Small businesses ready to seize new growth opportunities in 2017

Small business growth

After saying goodbye to an unpredictable 2016, small business owners across the country are stepping up their growth plans for the new year. According to a poll by insurance firm Zurich, the average business looking to get a loan plans to borrow up to 22% more compared to a year ago.

This is partly thanks to the continued growth of consumer spending in Q4 of 2016, and with the predicted downturn after the Brexit vote yet to materialise, around 36% of businesses are planning to borrow in 2017.

Rise in confidence

The rosier than expected outlook has led to a sharp rise in confidence among small business owners. In the Q4 Small Business Index (compiled by the Federation of Small Businesses) the confidence measure rose from -2.9 in Q3 to +8.5 in Q4 – returning almost to the pre-referendum level at the start of 2016 (+8.6) – meaning more small businesses feel confident than those that don’t.

Changes in the currency markets are having a more mixed impact on UK companies. While exchange rate and import cost rises are problematic for many, small exporters are benefiting from the weak pound and becoming more competitive overseas. A net balance of 18% of small businesses now expect to see export growth over the next three months.

With the uncertainty around Brexit negotiations set to continue over the next two years, the role of small businesses in the UK economy will be vitally important. Policy makers are being encouraged to support the sector, and the recent announcement that the British Business Bank will be lending an additional £40 million to small businesses through Funding Circle will be fantastic news for owners looking to borrow.

While numerous challenges remain, we’re excited to see small business owners feeling positive about the year ahead, and look forward to helping them capitalise on the new opportunities it brings.

If you’re hoping to expand your business this year or would like extra finance to help with working capital, you can check your eligibility for a loan at fundingcircle.com/businesses.

Your Funding Circle Guide to Christmas 2016 – Pt 4

Another Christmas has come and gone, and we’ve all had a great time seeing family and friends, singing carols, and eating our body weight in turkey and chocolates. The big day may now be over, but we hope you’re still very much in the holiday mood. In our guide so far we’ve already looked at ideas for presents, Christmas supplies, and stocking fillers. Now for the final part we’re showcasing ideas from our marketplace for amazing things to do over the rest of the holiday season.

Christmas activities

Wookey Caves & Winter Wonderland

Are you looking for a seasonal spectacular to cap off your holidays? Alongside their world famous caves, at Wookey Hole in Somerset you can pay Santa a visit at their Winter Wonderland. With live reindeer, a Christmas Circus show, and a 4D theatre, you can really have a trip to remember. To open up new caves and help with working capital, Wookey Caves borrowed £260,000 in 2015.

Butterfly Jungle Experience

Leave winter behind with a trip to The Butterfly Jungle Experience at Hall Place in Kent. You can walk among the free flying butterflies and exotic flowers in this slice of rainforest, learning about their lifecycle and observing them at their special feeding stations. With hundreds of butterflies to see, this is a experience to remember for all the family. To expand into new premises, Butterfly Jungles borrowed £50,000 from Funding Circle in 2016.

Xtreme Karting

If you’re after a more high octane day out, then Xtreme Karting could be the one for you. Based in Edinburgh and Falkirk, they offer both junior and adult karting as well as simulated combat experiences, so there’s plenty of adrenaline pumping action to wake you up from your food coma! Xtreme Karting used Funding Circle to help grow their business.

Kidz About Play Park

If the kids are getting restless and you’ve gone through all your favourite Disney films four times already, why not take them out to Kidz About Play Park in Swindon? They can play on the giant play frame and bouncy castle assault course, plus there’s a separate section for babies and toddlers. Kidz About borrowed £95,000 over two loans to invest in a new adventure golf course.

Are you interested in lending to businesses like these?

Lend alongside 55,000 investors and support small businesses across the UK by signing up online today.

You can use our investor information guide to help you get started and there are thousands of loans which you can be a part of, making it quick and easy to build a diversified portfolio. Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Looking to expand your business?

We’ve helped more than 19,000 businesses access finance for a range of finance needs, including hiring staff, opening new shops and working capital. Get your instant quote today.

Enjoy lending. The Funding Circle team

Your Funding Circle Guide to Christmas 2016 – Pt 3

A quick look at the advent calendar tells us that the main event is now only days away — where did December go?? Hopefully you’ve been getting stuck into the mince pies and mulled wine, and have already sorted everything for your Christmas holiday. We’ve been helping out with suggestions for presents as well as food, drink and decorations, but if you’ve still got some shopping left to do, this week we’ll be sharing some great ideas from our marketplace for last minute stocking fillers.

Christmas stocking fillers

Psychobabel & Skoob Books

We all have at least one friend who loves to read, the one who’s already read every suggestion you’ve ever given them. Now you can surprise them with one of the rare books from Psychobabel & Skoob. They have over 110,000 rare, used, and out of print books in their London store and available online, so you can find a truly unique gift this Christmas. Psychobabel & Skoob borrowed £25,000 from Funding Circle to improve their warehouse facilities and online ordering.

Crocodile Toy Shop

Whether it’s Lego, a magic set, or your new favourite stuffed penguin, opening up new toys on Christmas morning is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Cirencester’s Crocodile Toy Shop has been supporting play times for over 30 years, and they could help you find that missing piece for the stocking this Christmas. To help improve stock levels, Crocodile Toy Shop has borrowed £150,000 over two loans from Funding Circle.

Nothing But Tea

Coming in from the cold to a warming brew is one of winter’s great pleasures, so why not up your game with a delightful box of loose leaf tea from Nothing But Tea? The family-run tea shop have a wealth of experience in tea and stock over 200 different types! We’d recommend their Dessert Tea Collection, which includes a Rooibos Creme Brulee, Pear Marzipan Tart and a Honeybush Chocolate Cake tea. To increase stock levels to ensure prompt service, Nothing But Tea borrowed £10,000 in February 2011.

Farm & Pet Place

Is your cat lord of the household? Do you love your dog more than your in-laws? If so, you need to make sure they don’t miss out this Christmas. Farm & Pet Place have a huge range of pet toys and treats, as well as equine, agriculture and garden ware, so you can give your animals some extra love this year. Farm & Pet Place borrowed £215,000 to refurbish their flagship store in Abergele.

Swagger & Swoon

Do you know a man who prides himself on looking sharp? Whether he’d love something for his carefully sculpted beard or his ever growing range of dashing cravats, Swagger & Swoon can help you out. They’ve been supplying high quality men’s accessories and grooming products for 12 years, and are taking online Christmas orders up until 22nd December! To expand their product range and improve their online experience, Swagger & Swoon borrowed £10,000 from Funding Circle in 2016.

That’s all for this week. Next up on our guide we’ll be showcasing ideas for great things to do over the Christmas holiday.

Are you interested in lending to businesses like these?

Lend alongside 55,000 investors and support small businesses across the UK by signing up online today.

You can use our investor information guide to help you get started and there are thousands of loans which you can be a part of, making it quick and easy to build a diversified portfolio. Remember, by lending to businesses your capital is at risk.

Looking to expand your business?

We’ve helped more than 19,000 businesses access finance for a range of finance needs, including hiring staff, opening new shops and working capital. Get your instant quote today.

Enjoy lending. The Funding Circle team

Highlights from 2016

As the new year approaches, we wanted to take a moment to share with you some of our highlights from an incredible 2016.

Together, you have now helped over 24,000 businesses access nearly £2.4 billion across the UK, US, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. In the UK alone, you have lent £725 million to over 8,000 businesses in 2016.

We have connected with our colleagues from across the US and Europe to bring you this short video. You’ll be able to hear from members of the team, their personal highlights and some of the borrowers you may have lent to.


From everyone at Funding Circle, we would like to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year, and thank you for helping to build a better financial world.

Enjoy lending,

The Funding Circle team