Funding Options, a national business finance marketplace, has today been awarded a £5m grant from Pool D of the Capability and Innovation Fund.
The Capability and Innovation Fund was created to encourage the development and improvement of financial products and services available to UK SMEs.
Funding Options has pledged to use this grant to deliver £500m of new alternative lending to UK small businesses by the end of 2022. This means that for every £1 of grant money received, Funding Options aims to deliver £100 in new lending to SMEs.
Research has shown that small business owners are still most likely to turn to their bank first when looking for finance, and in communities without a bank branch the amount of lending declines. Funding Options will use the grant to continue to support SMEs across the country and, with the growth of Open Banking, widen the choice and increase the opportunity for these firms to secure funding to grow.
Conrad Ford, CEO and Founder, Funding Options, said: “Small businesses are at the heart of the UK economy and it’s vital they are able to access a range of funding choices when they need it. Winning this grant from the Capability and Innovation Fund helps us accelerate our plans to help SMEs across the country achieve their goals. It will help us develop much needed technology solutions to support small businesses in local communities to access funding, and it will also enable us to continue to grow the alternative lending market. We have already delivered £0.25 billion in funding for more than 5,000 hard-pressed UK small businesses, from Cornwall to Skye, and from Northern Ireland to Norfolk.”