SWIG Finance headed stateside this month as part of a UK Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) delegation to New York City.
MD, John Peters, was asked to join the trip, organised by Big Society Capital and funded by CiTi Bank to give CDFIs such as SWIG Finance an opportunity to learn from the more advanced CDFI market in the US.
Peters said: “It was an honour to be asked to take part in the trip and it was a fantastic experience.
“There are a range of initiatives coming together in the UK to consider how best to scale the UK enterprise lending CDFI market to reach more underserved businesses and achieve greater social and economic impact. The aim of the visit was to begin the learning process, build networks to continue the learning exchange and disseminate learnings from the US in the UK.”
Other delegates included Qammar Zamman from Enterprise Loans East Midlands, Duncan Parker from Frederick’s Foundation, Andrew Austwick from Finance for Enterprise, Thomas Gillan of Social Investment Scotland and Rebecca McCartney from Big Society Capital.
One of the organisations the group visited was TruFund, a New York- based CDFI which promotes and fosters economic development within underserved communities and among disadvantaged populations. It is a non-profit, mission driven entity which offers affordable loan capital to small businesses and non-profit organisations that are financially viable, but have difficulty accessing capital from banks or other conventional lenders.
SWIG Finance has operated across the south west for almost 30 years and is based in Truro. It supports small and medium sized businesses with access to loan finance in the absence of sufficient funding from the banks. Since 2010, the company has supported over 2,000 businesses with loans worth £24 million, creating and securing 3,000 jobs in the south west.