Small Businesses: Coronavirus:Written question - 68666

Asked on: 03 July 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Small Businesses: Coronavirus
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to provide additional funding for schemes to support business affected by covid-19 that are owned by (a) minorities and (b) women.
Answered by: Paul Scully
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Government is committed to ensuring people from all backgrounds and regions benefit from the Government’s access to finance schemes. A diverse and inclusive ecosystem is good for entrepreneurs, companies, investors, and society as a whole.

The Department’s Ministerial team is also actively engaging with the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) business community on a regular basis to cover multiple issues, including access to finance.

The Future Fund provides government co-investment to innovative businesses. As of 5 July, 376 convertible loans worth a total of £380 million have been approved under the scheme. The British Business Bank (BBB) published diversity data for the Future Fund on 23 June 2020, which showed that companies with BAME-only and mixed ethnicity management teams accounted for over 55% of applications, valued at £118.5m, and that 79% of funding had been issued to companies with mixed gender management teams.

The Future Fund is also a signatory of the Investing in Women Code and encourages co-investors to do the same.

The British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme had delivered more than 73,600 loans to entrepreneurs by the end of May 2020, providing more than £609 million of funding. Of these, 40 per cent of these loans have gone to women, and 25 per cent of the total were to applicants from a BAME background.

The Government’s loan schemes to support businesses affected by Covid-19, including the Bounce Back Loan schemes, are open to all businesses which meet the eligibility criteria, including those owned by women as well as those owned by people from a BAME background. We will monitor the implementation and take up of the schemes.

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