As well as boosting the supply of finance to smaller businesses, it’s equally important to spread that supply across a range of products, providers, and funding sources. This diversity can improve access to finance for a wider range of businesses, improve the terms and ease of use of finance for small businesses, and increase the likelihood that firms get the most appropriate form of finance for their needs.
The main way we measure our performance for this objective is by assessing the proportion of the stock we support through smaller finance providers. By increasing provider diversity we also help with the other dimensions of a diversified finance market, as different providers will offer a wider range of products and tap alternative sources of funding.
In 2018/19, we committed capital to 14 new funds across our venture capital and growth capital programmes, including to new and existing delivery partners. Additionally, the Bank announced new delivery partners under its Investment Programme and ENABLE programmes, and accredited several new providers under EFG. The total number of finance providers we now work with is over 130.