An alternative finance provider that has supported over 1,450 businesses across the West Midlands is set to extend its support after securing a multi-million-pound funding boost.

BCRS Business Loans has become one of the first Responsible Finance Providers in the UK to secure £15 million from private, socially driven sources.

After securing an initial £7.5 million from the Community Investment Enterprise Fund (CIEF) late last year, BCRS Business Loans has now secured an additional £7.5 million in match-funding from one of Europe’s leading sustainable banks, Triodos.

CIEF, established by Big Society Capital (BSC), is managed by Social Investment Scotland and was designed to support alternative, socially driven lenders such as BCRS Business Loans, whose lending champions growing enterprises, creates jobs and boosts the growth of the regional economy.

Stephen Deakin, Finance Director at BCRS Business Loans, who led on the funding deal with BSC and Triodos Bank UK, said:

“We are delighted to be collaborating with Triodos Bank UK on supporting the growth of viable West Midlands businesses that are unable to access the finance they need from traditional lenders – which continues to be one of the biggest barriers to growth for SMEs.

“Triodos Bank UK and BCRS Business Loans both have socially driven missions and, together with CIEF, the additional £15 million will have a tremendous impact on the lives of people in the West Midlands. Whether that’s by helping them achieve their business dreams and ambitions or by providing additional jobs to generate wealth in some of the most deprived areas of our region.

“Establishing brand-new funding lines such as this, along with funding from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, will enable us to increase our lending by 25% per annum for the next five years.

“SMEs are the backbone of our economy – accounting for 98% of all private-sector businesses in the UK – which is why we are so committed to leaving no viable business unsupported.”

Matt Boggan, senior relationship manager at Triodos Bank UK, added: “Enabling social change through providing access to finance is key to Triodos Bank’s mission and we’re pleased to be working with BCRS Business Loans to support their work with SMEs in the West Midlands.

“The impact of these SMEs is more than purely economic. Their innovative solutions and business models can start changing lives and building strong communities from the ground up. We look forward to seeing these businesses grow and develop.” Triodos Bank lends solely to organisations that add cultural value and aim to benefit people and the planet. All prospective borrowers are required to comply to the bank’s minimum standards around human rights, environment and governance.

To discover more about BCRS Business Loans or to submit an initial application form, visit www.bcrs.org.uk.

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