An important part of Funding Circle’s business centers around their partnership program. A marketplace lender to small and medium businesses (SMB), Funding Circle has formed alliances with firms that cater to the SMB market, and can leverage the partnership to offer their clients loans. Within the US, examples of partnerships include a recent deal with H&R Block, while in the UK, where Funding Circle is the largest marketplace lender to SMBs, the firm receives referral customers from RBS.
In addition to working with companies, Funding Circle has also been successful in its ability to form partnerships with municipal and government groups. Within the UK, this has come in the form of uniting with neighborhood business bureaus to provide loans to local businesses.
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Adding to the government initiatives, Funding Circle has announced a partnership with the US Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). With the partnership, Funding Circle will provide educational programs to minority business owners through the MBDA’s network. Among the educational topics will be information about sourcing capital through alternative lending sources and business strategy.
According to the MBDA, there are 8 million minority owned businesses in the US. Regarding the opportunity to connect them with Funding Circle, Alejandra Y. Castillo, MBDA National Director, stated: “New financing options, delivered through marketplace lenders like Funding Circle, have the potential to level the playing field for the nation’s minority entrepreneurs and business owners because lack of financing is the biggest obstacle they face.”
Sam Hodges, Co-Founder and US Managing Director of Funding Circle, also commented: “The success of minority-owned businesses is vital to a strong and sustainable U.S. economy, but too many of these great entrepreneurs simply don’t have access to affordable growth capital from traditional lenders. We believe small businesses deserve better and are proud to partner with the MBDA to help minority business owners understand their options and secure the financing they need to grow.”