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Why is the British Business Bank programme lending money to small businesses through Funding Circle?

Over the last few years, the Government has been working with the private sector to develop initiatives to stimulate the market for small business lending. There have been a number of initiatives including the British Finance Partnership, which lent £20 million through Funding Circle from March 2013.

In September 2012, it was announced that a new institution - the British Business Bank - would be developed to support economic growth, by increasing choice of finance for small and medium sized businesses.

A request for proposals was issued  in April 2013 for their Investment Programme. Following the application process, BIS announced that they would be lending £40 million to small businesses through Funding Circle in February 2014. In January 2017, the British Business Bank committed a further £40 million to lend alongside other investors. As of January 2017, over 10,000 businesses had benefited from the combined £60 million in lending from both initiatives.

The British Business Bank Investments Ltd is the commercial arm of the British Business Bank, a development bank wholly owned by the UK Government. In 2017, British Business Bank Investments Ltd committed £40 million, in addition to its £40 million commitment in 2014, alongside other investors, to support economic growth by providing more efficient finance to smaller businesses.

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