Guide

Choose the right finance when starting up

Other sources of business finance

If you are finding it difficult to obtain finance from the normal sources - eg from a bank or investor - there are more options to consider.

Social and community lending

You may be able to borrow money from a credit union which is likely to be more affordable than a bank loan. They are owned and controlled by their members. This means they have to make decisions that are in members' best interests, rather than to make money for external shareholders. There are also no penalties for repaying loans early.

Find contact details for your local credit union.

The Community Investment Coalition (CIC) is a partnership of national organisations including financial providers, charities, trade associations and academic bodies.

The aim of the CIC is to promote access to affordable finance for families, businesses and communities. Responsible Finance provides further information on the CIC.

There are various lenders that offer loans to disadvantaged groups, community businesses and social enterprises. See social and community lenders.

Peer group lenders

Some businesses find that they can access finance, support and advice from other businesses in their peer group - known as peer-group lenders. There are many organisations that have been set up to support specific groups of individuals and businesses. These include: