Bristol finance firm boss pioneers alternative funding scheme for small businesses

March 14, 2014

The chairman of Bristol finance firm Clifton Asset Management has played the lead role in a unique collaboration launched this week between the UK’s main alternative business funders which aims to help small firms access funding.

The web portal – – is the result of a link-up between seven of the country’s major alternative funders, including Clifton Asset Management’s

It is designed to signpost SMEs to the most appropriate source of non-bank funding, providing a short-cut to finance options that business owners may not be fully aware of.

In addition, each organisation will ‘recycle’ their rejected applicants to the site to access other potential non-bank funding sources.

Clifton Asset Management chairman Adam Tavener realised the need for such a scheme when he attended a summit at No 10 Downing Street a year ago to explore alternative funding for small firms.

“After attending the event I got thinking about how we could collaborate,” he said. “We’re not in competition. We are all successful in our own right but by collaborating we can bring something new to the market.”

Collectively the seven partners in the scheme – CrowdCube, Funding Circle, Market Invoice, Platform Black, Seedrs, Zopa and – account for 85% of the alternative non-bank funding market and have provided to date more than £580m to SMEs, supporting around 80,000 jobs.

Mr Tavener added: “We see this portal as a genuinely disruptive influence, as it will shake up the SME finance sector and drive the current inefficiencies from the system.”

Pictured at the launch: Adam Tavener – chairman of,  second from right – with Annil Stocker – CEO & co-founder of Market Invoice, Jeff Lynn – CEO & founder of Seedrs, Giles Andrews – CEO & founder of Zopa, Louise Beaumont – co-founder of Platform Black, Kieran Garvey – business development director of Crowdcube, James Meekings – co-founder of Funding Circle

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