LENDING through Funding Circle unlocked 75,000 jobs in the US and Europe last year, according to new research.
A report from economic forecasters Oxford Economics found that the business peer-to-peer platform lent $2.3bn (£1.7bn) to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the US, UK, Germany and the Netherlands last year.
It says that for every £1 lent through the platform, an additional £2 was contributed to GDP across Funding Circle’s four markets.
“It has become evident that small businesses are underserved in every country we operate,” said Samir Desai, Funding Circle’s co-founder and chief executive.
“From butchers and bakers, to IT consultants and accountants, these are the businesses that are creating jobs, boosting productivity and driving our economies forward.
“The economic impact that these businesses have had as a result of accessing finance through Funding Circle is hugely rewarding to see.”
The report found that in the US alone Funding Circle’s lending had fuelled almost 28,000 jobs.
And lending through the platform supported a contribution of $2bn to the American economy in 2017.
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This economic activity and employment supported $170m in annual US tax revenues, said the Oxford Economics report.
“The report highlights the growing importance of Funding Circle to small businesses in the wake of the financial crisis, which impaired traditional banks’ willingness and ability to lend,” said Ian Mulheirn, director of economic consultancy at Oxford Economics.
“As a result, small businesses have shown an increased appetite for other forms of finance, with online lending at the forefront of these options.
“Funding Circle is having a significant impact on employment across its four markets and boosting the economy on an impressive scale.”