Peer to peer lender Funding Circle and Lancashire County Council have shared some data points on their partnership to provide capital to local businesses. According to the pair, Lancashire County Council has directed over £1.5 million to 230 different companies. The arrangement between the two entities was launched 2 years ago with the Council providing £350,000 and Funding Circle investors providing the balance. Since this program was launched Funding Circle has moved forward with 10 other councils in the UK. The program was designed to stimulate local economic growth by removing obstacles for small businesses to get business loans. The UK government backed British Business Bank is supporting the program as well.
“This is a ground-breaking way to fund business growth and create new jobs, which has directly led to more than £1.5 million pounds being invested in Lancashire’s businesses. We’re very pleased with its success to date. Our innovative approach has since been taken up by other councils across the country and even the government, who recognised the value of it,” said Council leader Jennifer Mein.
“We’re keen to work in pioneering and practical ways to provide real opportunities for businesses here in Lancashire to pursue their passions and ambitions. There is a lot of potential to grow the economy here in the county and Funding Circle is just one of our many successful schemes to encourage this growth.”
The partnership shared an example of a business in need of funds, that used the new program. Ark Consultants received £80,000 from Funding Circle investors through the partnership with the county council. Tom Williams, MD of Ark was quoted on the process, “Funding Circle was a breath of fresh air after dealing with the banks. Everything happened quickly and efficiently and, within two weeks, we had the money we needed to take the business to the next stage. The team were helpful at every step of the way and I would urge any business owner looking at finance options to consider applying for a loan through Funding Circle.”
“For some time now, small businesses have faced serious difficulty in accessing finance from traditional lenders. Lancashire County Council has recognised that Funding Circle can provide local businesses with a solution and help them grow, and we’re very pleased to be working in partnership with them. Online marketplaces are the future of finance, allowing local people and organisations to play a direct role in supporting local business growth. We hope to be able to work with many more councils moving forwards.”
Funding Circle has provided more than £570 million of loans since 201o0 for over 8,000 small businesses across the UK.