British Business Investments, a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary within the British Business Bank group, has announced a £7 million commitment to FOLK2FOLK, a specialist peer-to-peer marketplace lender for rural and regional smaller businesses, which has a big presence in Gloucestershire.
British Business Investments aims to increase the supply and diversity of finance for smaller businesses across the UK, by boosting the lending capacity of a range of finance providers, including peer to peer and marketplace lenders. Since its establishment in 2014, British Business Investments has committed over £3bn to providers of finance to UK smaller businesses.
Headquartered in Cornwall, with offices in Gloucestershire and staff based in other regions, FOLK2FOLK specialises in providing finance to smaller businesses based in the UK regions, helping those who are looking to grow, develop or diversify in the post-pandemic and post-Brexit environment. The company has delivered £488m of investment into regional smaller businesses, primarily within the South West, since 2013.
Judith Hartley, CEO, British Business Investments, said: “British Business Investments is delighted to announce its £7m commitment to FOLK2FOLK. In its recently published Regions and Nations Tracker report, the British Business Bank highlighted the funding issues for regional and rural smaller businesses. This commitment to FOLK2FOLK will help these types of businesses, in the South West and throughout the UK, to access the finance they need to grow and prosper.”
Louis Mathers, Co-Founder & Director, FOLK2FOLK said: “By focusing on rural and regional businesses, FOLK2FOLK serves an extremely viable but underserved part of the SME landscape. Too often, investments overlook businesses operating outside of large urban areas. We founded FOLK2FOLK on the belief that something needed to be done about this regional disparity in funding. We felt a greater connectedness was needed between investors and regional Britain, and FOLK2FOLK was founded in early 2013 to be a mechanism to enable this. Together with our investors, we are helping to level the playing field for regional businesses.”
Roy Warren, Managing Director, FOLK2FOLK said: “We are rapidly approaching half a billion in lending and the addition of British Business Investments as an institutional investor alongside our existing investor base, expands our funding lines and bolsters our position on the financial frontline of support for regional SMEs. FOLK2FOLK takes a human approach to lending and reviews every case on its own merits. By taking a holistic approach, we’re able to see the bigger picture and will also consider projection-led proposals.”