social impact report & annual statement

Female entrepreneurs helping to boost northern economy in record year of funding

BEF publishes record figures in its latest Social Impact Report.

Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) is delighted to announce it has completed a record year of funding to entrepreneurs and small business across the north - with growth in women-led businesses in particular.

The independent, not for profit loans provider has invested over £14.6million to the region, and over a third of the companies supported (33%) were women-led businesses, a rise of over 8% on last year.

In total, the lender has boosted the region’s economy by £58.4m, with 346 new businesses created and 3,370 jobs safeguarded in over 600 individual deals.

CEO Steve Waud comments: “The recovery of the north during Covid has been fantastic to see, as people have pivoted, adapted and started again. We have been delighted to support so many new businesses and 64% of our loans were given to companies in the most deprived areas of the UK, which is incredibly encouraging. That is why we exist – to support businesses get funding in areas where it might not otherwise be within reach.”

BEF provides funding, support and advice for growing businesses across all sectors. Its aim is to deliver flexible finance to businesses in geographical areas that need it most, by providing unsecured business loans when other lenders such as mainstream banks cannot fully assist.

21% of the support over the last 12 months has been to construction, 13% to hospitality, 15% to manufacturing and 18% to business services.

Steve concludes: “We continue to work in some of the most challenging and economically and socially deprived communities in the country and now support businesses across the North of England. By supporting the lowest income communities and most disadvantaged areas, we aim to alleviate poverty in the communities we serve. We also aim to support groups that have traditionally been less represented so we are thrilled to be seeing an increase in funding to women-led organisations.”

Download the Social Impact Report

To learn more about BEF's record year of funding, download the latest Social Impact Report.

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