Non-bank finance

Social and community lenders


Social lenders are generally non-profit making organisations that can offer loans and credit.

Co-operative and community finance

Employee-owned or community businesses can apply to borrow money from the Industrial Common Ownership Finance Fund. Eligible organisations include social enterprises, co-operatives, development trusts and charitable businesses.

Find out about loan eligibility with Co-operative and Community Finance (Coop).

Credit unions

Credit unions offer loans that are accessible and affordable. 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 out about credit union loans with the Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL).

The Prince's Trust

If you are aged between 18 and 30, you may be able to get financial support from the Prince's Trust. The charity's Enterprise Programme provides loans, grants and advice so that disadvantaged young people can start their own businesses. To be eligible, you need to be unemployed and unable to raise all the finance you need from other sources. Read about the Prince's Trust Enterprise Programme.

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