social impact report & annual statement
Flexible loans up to £250k for small businesses

Access finance without the hurdles

In today's fast-moving economy, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are crucial for innovation and economic growth. Yet, many find it hard to get the finance they need to grow and succeed. This is due to strict lending rules from traditional lenders, location disadvantages for businesses in less developed areas, unfair biases against certain industries, and systemic injustices affecting diverse business owners.

We tackle these issues directly by offering small business loans designed for the unique needs of SMEs in Yorkshire and the Humber, the North East, and the North West.

Key features of our small business loan

  • Borrow up to £250,000.
  • Flexible repayment terms of up to 5 years.
  • Competitive interest rates.
  • Suitable for various business needs and goals.
  • Open to businesses across most sectors.
  • Minimal setup and early repayment fees.*
  • Accredited provider of the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS).**

*For early resettlement fees, please refer to Section (4) Repayments of our Terms of Engagement.

** A personal guarantee may be required where a RLS is unavailable

Why choose BEF for a small business loan?

BEF is committed to fair finance, making sure every business, no matter its size, location, industry, or the background of its owners, has the chance to succeed. Here's why a BEF Small Business Loan is a great choice:

  • Customised Loans: Our loans are flexible to fit your business, whether you need to improve cash flow, buy new equipment, or grow your operations.
  • Longer Repayment Terms: You can have up to 5 years to pay back the loan, which helps with your financial planning.
  • Quick Funding: We aim to get funds to you within 2-3 weeks, so you don't miss out on important opportunities.
  • Personal Support: You get one-on-one support from a friendly and knowledgeable, Investment Manager.
  • Human Decisions: Our team makes loan decisions, not computers, so we understand your business's unique situation.


The Eye Room, Leeds
"Our partnership with BEF has been instrumental in realising our growth aspirations. This NPIF loan has empowered us to better serve our community and expand our horizons.
- Tomas Oppedal, The Eye Store

Ready to start?

Take the first step towards unlocking your business's potential. Enquire about a small business loan today. It only takes one minute.

Need to borrow less than £25,000?

Secure a Start Up Loan ranging from £500 to £25,000, specifically designed for businesses who want to start or grow. This option is available to businesses that have traded for less than 36 months.


If you can't find your question here, please reach out to us.

Is my business eligible?

To apply for a business loan online, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Need to borrow up to £250,000
  • Be a sole trader, partner or director of a UK-based business
  • Need the money for business purposes

What can I use a BEF small business loan for?

You can use our business loans to support a wide range of business activities:

  • Start-up costs: Got a new business idea? Use the loan for starting out costs like getting licenses, permits, and buying your initial gear.
  • Property stuff: Whether you’re buying a new place for your business, fixing up your current one, or giving it a makeover, there’s cash for that.
  • Inventory: Need stuff to sell or materials to make your products? The loan can help buy all that.
  • Working capital: This is for the everyday money needs like paying your team, covering bills, and other regular costs.
  • Equipment and technology: If you need new machines, tools, or the latest tech to help your business grow, you can use the loan for that.
  • Marketing and advertising: Get the word out about your business and attract more customers with some marketing and ads.
  • Scaling up: Ready to make your business bigger or go into new areas? There’s money to support that move.

How long does an application take to be approved?

Generally, the process from application to decision takes 2-3 weeks, depending on the loan's complexity and how quickly you provide all necessary documents. Your investment manager can offer more detailed information on this.

Can I use a small business loan to start a new business?

If you wan to fund a new start-up business then you should consider a Start Up Loan.

How do I apply for a small business loan from BEF?

To apply for a Small Business loan, simply complete our enquiry form. Once complete, a member of our investment team will respond within two working days.

We use Open Banking to help us make a decision to lend. To fast track a decision, you must grant access to your financial data using our Open Banking portal:

How do I grant permission for BEF to access my financial data using Open Banking?

We use Open Banking to help us make a decision to lend. We only request permission to see the information we need to provide a loan to you.

To grant access, please visit

What is a Personal Guarantee?

A Personal Guarantee is taken to back-up our loans. It is a legal promise that in the event the borrower company fails to make repayments of the loan, the lender can ask the guarantor to make payment on the borrower’s behalf.

For more information, please read our Personal Guarantee Notice.

Our Offer

Adaptable rates, with flexible fees

Choose between fixed or variable rate finance, covering up to 100% of your funding needs.

A personal approach to business

We don't do impersonal letters or automated phone services - every client gets connected with a real member of our team.

We don't rely on algorithms

We see each client as a unique individual, and we evaluate their business in the same personalised manner.

Personalised service tailored to you

Our loans are open to all sectors and are crafted to meet your specific needs.

Flexible repayment terms up to 5 years

Various repayment options are available.

Find support to help you through your application here

How the application process works

Here's how to apply. If you need assistance, feel free to email us anytime.



Tell us a bit about what you need for your loan. It only takes a minute to fill out. If we can help with your loan, we'll send you a link to a special application form.



Here's where you get into the details of your business. The questions are easy to understand and meant to help us figure out what you need. You'll also need to share some financial info using Open Banking.



We don't make decisions based on computer programs! At this stage, we might need a bit more information from you; your personal Investment Manager will reach out to you.



If your application is approved, it's time to go! We'll transfer the funds to your account, and you can start using them immediately. If your application is unsuccessful, we'll try to give you feedback and advice to help you move forward.

What our clients say

Our clients tell the story best, see how our loans helped them.

"Throughout our journey so far, we have turned to BEF first for our funding requirements."