LendingCrowd, one of the UK’s fastest-growing alternative finance lenders to the SME market, has partnered with the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, in an initiative that will see £2.75 million invested in Scottish SMEs across the LendingCrowd platform. It is expected that the move will stimulate loans of up to £35 million for SMEs while leveraging significant private sector investment.
The agreement will allow SMEs to access loans of between £5,000 and £250,000 over terms ranging from 6 months to 5 years, with applicants applying directly to LendingCrowd who will then undertake the appropriate due diligence on each investment case and provide funding on commercial terms.
Stuart Lunn, CEO and co-founder of LendingCrowd, said: “Our groundbreaking agreement with Scottish Enterprise, one of the first initiatives of its kind in Europe, will help to fund the next stage of growth for some of Scotland’s most exciting SMEs. This recognises the increasing importance of peer-to-peer access to finance and, in practical terms, will allow a significant number of small to medium-sized businesses the chance to pursue their ambition to expand and compete in the UK and internationally.”
Kerry Sharp, head of the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “We recognise that many Scottish companies continue to struggle to raise the funding they need to grow and evidence points to substantial gaps in the supply and demand for finance within the Scottish market. Under our expanded remit, we are increasing the diversity of finance provision in Scotland and this new initiative with LendingCrowd is the first example of how we are opening up innovative sources of alternative funding to Scottish SMEs.”