Business lender creates 2,000 jobs over last decade

A business lender with bases throughout Yorkshire is celebrating a positive start to 2016, after creating over 2,000 jobs and lending over £23million to businesses over 11 years.

The Business Enterprise Fund has secured funds of £3.5million from the European Investment Fund and £700,000 capital investment from the government’s Regional Growth Fund.

BEF assists SME businesses, which have been turned away from mainstream lenders, to access finances with loans provided for up to £50,000.

Chique Photography Studio, which opened its Huddersfield base in October 2014 with a Start Up loan secured through BEF, sought out a second loan to open a further studio in Wakefield in October last year.

Jane Earnshaw, pictured centre, co-owner at Chique, said: “The support we received from the team at BEF was brilliant. They were able to advise every step of the way throughout the loan process which has enabled us to open the second studio and create a total of 20 jobs.”

Chief Executive at BEF, Stephen Waud, said: “Although there are signs in the world economy around slackening pace and lower demand, we are not finding this at the grass roots level. Businesses are still eager for development and growth finance and we are keen to support those businesses.

“In 2016 we’re expecting to see a further increase in small businesses accessing finance to grow and progress which is heartening to see for the region.”