BUSINESS finance marketplace Funding Options has been awarded a £5m grant from the Capability and Innovation Fund to help broaden and encourage wider choice of finance for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK.
Underserved local communities will be particularly targeted for funding, in a bid to deliver impartial lending choices to the UK’s five million SMEs.
Funding Options has pledged to use the grant to deliver £0.5bn of new alternative lending to UK small businesses by the end of 2022.
“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,” said Conrad Ford (pictured), chief executive and founder of Funding Options.
“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 £0.25bn in funding for more than 5,000 hard-pressed UK small businesses, from Cornwall to Skye, and from Northern Ireland to Norfolk.”
The Capability and Innovation Fund is administered by Banking Competition Remedies Limited (BCR), an investment body which was established by UK Government and the European Commission. Its aim is .to encourage the development and improvement of financial products and services available to UK SMEs.
Funding Options’ grant comes from Pool D of the Fund, which has been authorised to distribute five £5m grants to businesses which “facilitate the commercialisation of financial technology that is relevant to SMEs”.