A key objective of the Bank is to boost the supply of finance for smaller businesses in areas of the market that don’t work well. We measure our success against this objective by measuring both how much finance we ourselves deploy, and how much the private sector contributes in addition to this.
Each year, the Bank influences this measurement by committing funding through our programmes. Once we have committed funding, our delivery partners typically take a number of years to draw the funding down as they finance smaller businesses. We then add the combined funds drawn to the ‘stock’ of finance. When a borrower repays a loan or an investment is realised, the funds can be returned to the Bank and other investors and will be taken out of the stock of finance measure.
In order to increase supply, we have built up a wide range of delivery partners who can get that finance to the market. Over the past year we have made new commitments of £957m.
As at the end of 2018/19, we had £6.6bn of stock of finance supported, an increase of 27% from £5.2bn the previous year.
This increase was driven primarily by the higher than expected leverage across most programmes, with the Investment Programme and the UK Innovation Investment Fund doing particularly well in this respect, as well as a higher number of ENABLE Guarantees.
Yorkshire Dama Cheese
Programme: Start Up Loans
Razan Al-Sous decided to set up Yorkshire Dama Cheese after fleeing war-torn Syria with her husband and three children in 2012.
Arriving in Yorkshire, she struggled to find work despite having a degree in pharmacology. She noticed how the halloumi cheese sold in the UK was often of poor quality and decided to start making halloumi cheese using Yorkshire-sourced milk instead.
She used a £2,500 Start Up Loan to buy the equipment she needed. Her products are available in Morrisons and online. She has won several awards including the World Cheese Award Gold Prize 2016 and was nominated by former Prime Minister David Cameron for recognition on International Women’s Day 2015.