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Future Fund Publishes Diversity Data on 971 Companies Approved for Convertible Loan Agreements

The British Business Bank has published Future Fund data, giving a detailed picture of the 971 companies that have been approved for £975.5m worth of Convertible Loan Agreements since the scheme was launched on 20 May. There have been 1,432 applications in total since the scheme was launched.

This data shows where companies are based across the UK and the composition of the senior management teams by gender and ethnicity. This data is self-reported by the companies applying to the Future Fund.

The data reveals that 39% of the funding approved for companies, relating to convertible loan agreements worth £384.9m, was for businesses with their headquarters located outside of London. Of the total amount of £975.5m, 15% is to companies headquartered in the South (South East and South West), 11% in the North (North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber), 8% in the East of England, 4% in the Midlands (East Midlands and West Midlands) and 3% in the Devolved Nations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). London accounts for 61% of companies, in line with the wider market trends for equity investments. The British Business Bank’s 2019/20 Small Business Finance Markets report showed that London received 66% of equity investment by value in 2019.

Of the 971 companies that have been approved and received their Convertible Loan Agreements for signature, 78% of funding is to companies with mixed-gender senior management teams. Since the launch of the Future Fund more than 30 venture capital firms and angel groups have become signatories to the Government’s Investing in Women Code, alongside the Future Fund.

As part of its commitment as a signatory to the code, the Future Fund will supply HM Treasury with statistics on founder gender. HM Treasury intends to publish the first annual Investing in Women Code Report in the first quarter of 2021.

Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) only and mixed ethnicity management teams account for 63% of funding to companies that have been approved for Convertible Loan Agreements so far, worth £570.4m.

The Future Fund uses an online platform based on a recognised financial instrument and a set of standard terms with published eligibility criteria. The process provides a clear, efficient way to make funding available as widely and as swiftly as possible without the need for lengthy negotiations.

Official statistics report senior management team composition because Future Fund is available to many companies beyond the early stage. Our analysis of the company founder data, where available, shows it tracks above-market figures for gender diversity.

Coronavirus support for businesses

The Future Fund convertible loan agreements weren’t the only support for businesses put in place in response to the pandemic. Smaller businesses could apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), as well as the Bounceback Loan Scheme (BBLS) and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS). Recently released data from HM Treasury shows an increase of £2.67bn in approves loans across the 3 schemes over the past month, with over 1,515,280 loans approved.

Charlotte Crosswell, CEO of Innovate Finance said: “The latest data from HMT highlights the ongoing demand from UK firms for funding, to invest and grow their businesses, and help the UK overcome the recession Covid-19 has prompted.

“Since March, non-bank lenders have played an integral role in financing and providing emergency loans to SMEs to not only help them survive the crisis but also providing them with the means to thrive. With many businesses still shut as a result of Tier 3 measures, we will continue to see many organisations requiring loans to get through the next couple of months, until there has been significant progress in the vaccine roll-out.

“The successor scheme to CBILS and BBLS – set to be launched in the New Year – will be crucial in providing businesses with a range of funding options to meet their needs, as this economic downturn is projected to continue well into 2021. Our work with Government will ensure that non-bank lenders are at the heart of the new scheme.”

Author

  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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