Finance: Social enterprises 'need help with business loans'

Graham Willgoss

Social enterprises in the south-west of England need better support accessing business loans, according to a report published by Regional Infrastructure for Social Enterprise.

The report, based on a survey of 26 social enterprises carried out by the New Economics Foundation, found that although ambition to develop the sector is "extremely healthy", many do not know what finance is available, which lenders to approach or where to go for advice.

"Many turn to their bank when they need a loan, but few are eligible due to a lack of understanding of social enterprise from high street banks and a lack of assets and trading history," said Lucy Findlay, chief executive of Rise.

She said that Rise will seek to act on suggestions made by social enterprises that took part in the survey, such as providing accessible lender information, training on the implications of using loan finance and better links between support agencies and finance providers.

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