The Rise and Rise of Responsible Finance
Perhaps the foremost challenge of businesses of varying shapes and sizes across the UK is raising finance.
Whether growing or starting anew, it is no secret that businesses find it notoriously difficult to raise funds, particularly from banks and other traditional lenders.
The growth of Fintech and other finance providers stands testimony to the fact that the once seemingly infinite gap in the market for alternative funding providers is closing, albeit at a relatively slow but steady pace.
While a simple Google search will unleash a plethora of finance and funding options (with potential to lure one into thinking the gulf that once existed has long since ceased to exist), there are signs that we still have a long way to go.
Political and economic uncertainty has naturally affected confidence and the current appetite for business development and investment in the UK. With stakeholders from differing industries citing Brexit as the main rationale for greater prudence in investment decisions and subsequent stagnation or constriction in business growth.
Undoubtedly, the UK’s imminent departure from the EU will bear both positive and negative ramifications. However, the core essence of any economy in the western hemisphere is small business, where investment in infrastructure and future development becomes paramount.
According to a report published by Responsible Finance entitled The Industry in 2018 – “In 2018 responsible finance providers lent £85 million to 5,310 businesses in the UK”. The highest amount lent by responsible finance providers since its inception 2002.
Other notable key findings include:
- 4,490 new jobs created.
- 520 businesses safeguarded.
- 6,369 jobs created.
- 4,010 jobs safeguarded.
All made possible because of responsible finance. Furthermore, in commitment to building sustainable businesses and communities “for every £1 responsible finance providers lend to businesses, they generate £7 in economic value”.
As the complex myriad of financial solutions for business continues to grow, it is essential that businesses seek to obtain adequate professional advice about the funding options available to them. Be that grants, equity or debt finance, access to ongoing development support and opportunities is also essential.