Susan Nightingale, Senior Manager British Business Bank Northern Ireland, discusses the improved access to Small Business finance and the evolving funding landscape for Small business owners in Northern Ireland. Watch the video and learn more about the role of British Business Bank in improving access to Commercial Finance for Small Business in Northern Ireland.

The Evolving Funding Landscape in Northern Ireland

“If I had to pick one word to describe, the access to finance landscape at the moment, I would say evolving. We’ve seen a shift in the appetite to take on finance. And we’ve seen a positive shift as well in terms of understanding and awareness of the options that are out there.” says Susan Nightingale Senior Manager at British Business Bank.

“If we look at our Small Business Finance Market report that we released in March 2022, the funding landscape in Northern Ireland is massively improved on the previous year. 2021 was a year of contrast between debt and equity in smaller business finance markets. Bank lending returned to pre-pandemic levels while equity investment in smaller businesses reached record highs. We need to keep that momentum going. Despite that improvement, we still only account for 1% of the whole equity investment across the whole of the UK. So, we have a challenge there.

The Role of British Business Bank in Northern Ireland

What we do is put money out into the ecosystem through third-party delivery partners, who lend and invest that money in businesses. We operate on both the supply side and the demand side of business finance. On the supply side, the main objective is to create a more diverse finance market. Not just in terms of the, improving the choice of finance options that are available, but also in terms of improving the choice of finance providers that are out there.”

“We are very much focused on the demand side as well. Educating SMEs and advisors about the range of options that are out there. So, they can make informed choices and ensure they get the finance that’s most appropriate for their needs. As opposed to just the one they’re most familiar with or that is most easily accessible. Breaking down barriers to smaller business finance and accelerating finance use are vital to achieving net-zero. External finance can help both eco-innovators and eco-adopters contribute toward the UK’s net-zero target. Our mission is to make finance markets work better for smaller businesses in Northern Ireland. And we want to assist them in that transition to net zero as well. Whether you’re looking for finance to start a business, grow to the next level, or stay ahead of the competition, we’re delivering greater volume and choice of finance.”

The British Business Bank Finance Hub

The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides free support to Northern Ireland businesses. For more information please click here

About British Business Bank

The British Business Bank is the UK government economic development bank, established in 2014. Its aim is to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK. And to enable the transition to a net-zero economy, by supporting access to finance for smaller businesses.

About Johnston Financial Solutions Limited

Johnston Financial Solutions is an independent credit broker of commercial finance in Northern Ireland. Improving access to finance from a diverse range of alternative funders such as mainstream banks, challenger banks, pension funders, and peer-to-peer lenders. To talk with Mark please click here