Business lender the Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) has announced that for every £1 invested, over £4 has been added in value to the local economy, amounting to a £29 million benefit this year.

The figures, from BEF’s Social Impact Report & Annual Statement, have been released following their successful tender earlier in the year to the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund’s Microfinance contract.

BEF’s report also reveals a continuing trend in start-up businesses, with 175 new businesses created in the last year in Yorkshire and the North East, following investment through the Government’s Start Up Loans Programme, of which they are a Delivery Partner. Over five years BEF has supported the creation of 824 new businesses, helped save or create over 2,000 jobs, and invested over £30 million resulting in £86 million economic benefit.

Stephen Waud, BEF Chief Executive said he was thrilled to see the level of impact BEF’s lending has made.

“As a social enterprise, we do things differently. This year’s figures - and figures from the previous five years - demonstrate that the way we responsibly lend to small businesses can be sustainable and have an enormous impact on the economy.

“The alternative finance sector has transformed since we began in 2004. We’ve positioned ourselves to grow and avoid the pitfalls for which continues to be an innovative and extremely competitive landscape.”

Of the 452 client deals this year, 23% of BEF’s lending was to manufacturing businesses. Mark Goldstone, Head of Policy at the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said the figures look very positive.

“In the last twelve months, our own research has reported good growth within the manufacturing sector with exports benefiting from more competitive exchange rates. Our research indicates the sector has continued to invest and so I’m really pleased to see nearly a quarter of BEF’s lending has supported this important sector.”

Looking ahead, the report points towards further company growth, following development of the online application process.

“We’re continuing to streamline our processes so we can serve more businesses in an efficient way, meeting our client’s needs, so they can access the finance they need to grow their business.” said Stephen.

Read BEF’s Social Impact Report and Annual Statement here:


About the Business Enterprise Fund

The Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) provides loans from £500 to £150,000 to businesses, helping them thrive and grow. Lending to businesses of all ages and across all sectors BEF has lent over £30 million, helping save or create over 2000 jobs.

BEF are a Delivery Partner for the Government’s Start Up Loans Programme which supports emerging and young businesses with finance and support. BEF also deliver the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund’s Microfinance Loans across Yorkshire and the Tees Valley, a fund delivered by the British Business Bank.

As a social enterprise and a Responsible Finance Provider, BEF’s profits are reinvested into the loan fund and granted to organisations that encourage and build enterprise. Over the last 5 years BEF’s lending has added nearly £90 million of value to the economy.

Bradford: Devere House, Little Germany, Bradford, BD1 5AH
Leeds: 5th Floor Carlton Towers, 34 St Pauls Street, Leeds, LS1 2QB
York: Blake House, Blake Street, York, YO1 8QH
Tees Valley: Belasis Hall Technology Park, Coxwold Way, Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees, TS23 4EA
Goole: Goole Development Trust, 57 Carlisle Street, Goole, DN14 5DS

Press Contact
Fergus Mckie
07827 318692

About the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
• The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will invest in Microfinance, Business Loans and Equity Finance sub-funds which will offer financing ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
• The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
• The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
• The NPIF covers the following LEP areas: Tees Valley Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Humber, Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding
• The project is receiving up to £140,359,192 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit
• The funds in which Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and Tees Valley.
• There is a separate regional investment programme of £145m covering the North East LEP area.
• The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at

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About Business Enterprise Fund

The Business Enterprise Fund is a social enterprise that lends money to businesses in West & North Yorkshire & the North East, who are unable to get lending from the banks. As a social enterprise there are no share holders – all profits generated are reinvested into the business.