Finance For Enterprise secures £25m capital funding

Paula Foreman & Andrew Austwick | Finance for Enterprise

Finance For Enterprise, has successfully secured a capital injection of £25 million from Lloyds Bank and Big Society Capital (BSC) under the second phase of the Community Investment Enterprise Fund (CIEF). 

This forms a part of a larger £62 million investment initiative aimed at facilitating access to finance for small businesses across England and Wales, thereby bolstering local employment opportunities and economic growth.

The investment is channelled through three Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) – Finance For Enterprise, BCRS Business Loans, and Business Enterprise Fund

Lloyds Bank’s participation marks the first instance of a mainstream lender investing in the CDFI sector, signalling its commitment to fostering sustainable business practices and regional development, particularly in disadvantaged regions of the UK.

Within this investment framework, Finance For Enterprise has secured a substantial £25 million allocation. One of the beneficiaries from the initial phase of CIEF is the Estate Tea Company, based in Newcastle. 

Founded by local entrepreneur Tom Webb, the company specialises in offering single estate, small batch, and hand-blended teas, supplying them to various establishments nationwide while also operating its own café and eatery in Newcastle. With support from CIEF via Finance For Enterprise, Tom was able to relocate his business from a modest café in Gateshead to a more spacious venue, previously a plumber’s merchant, which he has transformed into a popular destination for tea enthusiasts throughout the day and night.

Andrew Austwick, Managing Director at Finance For Enterprise, expressed, “We are thrilled to have secured a significant portion of the CIEF Investment Fund. The success of the Estate Tea Company serves as an excellent example of how the CIEF fund can empower SMEs to thrive. I eagerly anticipate assisting more SMEs across the UK in benefiting from such funding opportunities.”

Elyn Corfield, CEO Business and Commercial Banking, Lloyds Bank, said: “Small and medium size enterprises are the heartbeat of the UK economy and as the largest domestic banking group, we have a proud history of supporting UK businesses to thrive. We’re therefore delighted to support the CDFI sector to back local businesses, with a focus on deprived areas, and ensure they have access to a range of financial options right for them. When local businesses flourish so do local communities and we hope our leadership within this second phase of CIEF will see many more areas of the UK succeed.”

Anna Shiel, Chief Investment Officer, Big Society Capital said: “At Big Society Capital we care deeply about building fair opportunity through expanding the reach of investment into communities and supporting access to a more diverse set of business owners. Like the small enterprises they serve, the dedication of CDFIs to create long-term impact deserves greater backing. The combination of their hard work, and vital tools such as the Recovery Loan Scheme guarantee, has unlocked the potential to draw in more capital from institutional investors such as Lloyds, whom we are delighted to co-invest with in this fund. We are thrilled to see the work of partners come together in the next stage of CIEF and especially to see how the positive track record of these CDFIs is being noticed!”