Milestone for regional finance scheme that has backed small firms to tune of £15m

January 24, 2024

Alternative regional funder SWIG Finance has reached the landmark of lending £15m to 250 small businesses across the South West in a scheme backed by Triodos, the ethical bank with its UK headquarters in Bristol.

The milestone came within five years of the first loan being made under the scheme.

SWIG Finance, which is a non-profit company, supports viable South West businesses that cannot secure sufficient funding from their bank.

SWIG Finance managing director John Peters said: ”Triodos Bank has been a fantastic funding partner for us and the fact that they’re South West-based makes the fit even better.

“This milestone proves that through investing in SWIG Finance, investors like Triodos can benefit those smaller businesses that would otherwise struggle to access the finance they need to grow, create jobs and benefit their local communities.”

The scheme’s most recent deal was with Cornwall-based cyber security business Cool Waters, pictured, which landed a £50,000 loan to help it create a new cyber security apprenticeship scheme in the county.

Triodos Bank UK senior relationship manager John Sharpe said the bank was proud of its ongoing partnership with SWIG, as both shared an understanding of the power of finance to help businesses and communities thrive.

“Having supported 250 small businesses in the South West through the partnership to date, we look forward to seeing these start-ups and growing businesses continue to fulfil their potential.”

SWIG lent a record £14m to ambitious small and medium-sized businesses across the South West in its last financial year.

The group, which supports viable businesses that cannot secure sufficient funding from their bank, provided 559 loans to 478 start-ups and growing firms in 2022/23.

This helped create or safeguard 1,045 jobs in established small businesses and a further 437 new ones in the start-ups it supported.

Triodos has banking activities in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Germany as well as the UK, where it has operated for nearly 30 years and now employs around 200 staff in Bristol, London and Edinburgh.

It is a co-founder of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, a network of 60 sustainable banks. Last Year it was named ‘best ethical financial provider’ category at the British Bank Awards for a second year in a row.

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