The Government should continue to support community development finance institutions, according to an independent evaluation commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Evaluation of Community Development Finance Institutions says that CDFIs, organisations that lend money to social enterprises and businesses in deprived areas, meet several Government policy goals, including the creation of enterprise and support for under-represented groups.
The report, written by consultancy GHK, says CDFIs have created about £560m in business turnover and ensured the continuation of businesses worth another £788m.
It says that for every £1 of public money invested, CDFIs create a return for communities worth £3.57, and safeguard another £5 by protecting existing enterprise.
"This report shows the Government needs to strengthen the support it gives to the CDFI sector," said Bernie Morgan, chief executive of the Community Development Finance Association, the umbrella body for CDFIs.