A Yorkshire-business lender has sealed a unique agreement to boost its fund for businesses in the region by £2m.
The Business Enterprise Fund (BEF), headed by Brighouse-based Stephen Waud, has concluded a deal with the European Investment Fund (EIF).
The deal, which is the first of its kind, marks the 10th anniversary for the BEF and enables it immediately to issue loans directly to businesses in North and West Yorkshire – with a focus on SMEs that have been turned away by banks. BEF, which has offices in Bradford, Leeds and York, will be lending £6m to businesses that have been unable to get finance elsewhere.
BEF has seen 33% growth year on year for the previous three years and has plans to expand into other regions where businesses are struggling to get the finance needed.
Fund director Mr Waud said: “This unique deal with the EIF goes to show the confidence and opportunity in our region. The EIF came to us to provide this credit line largely due to our success and size. They have indicated that further funding would be available should SMEs need more.
“BEF is going from strength to strength with our expansion, recruitment and ambitious targets to support more businesses across West and North Yorkshire than ever.”
In the last 10 years, BEF has loaned more than £10m to help almost 1,500 businesses across West and North Yorkshire – of which 940 were new businesses – creating over 1,000 jobs.
BEF is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £10m investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).