European Bank to invest in British businesses.. and more


The Week in Startups

After last week’s hiatus – looking at the VW crisis – The Week in Startups returns for your usual fix of all the latest news in the SME world. In another boost for small businesses a large European bank has agreed to invest in a very popular peer-to-peer platform. At MadeSimple we believe in the importance of our products but also in dispensing important and relevant news that relates to you.

If you are interested in reading some of our previous issues of The Week in Startups see here for more information. We also we take a look at an incident that occurred over the weekend where a popular business in London was the victim of an unfortunate attack.

European Investment Bank to invest in P2P platform

  • The European Investment Bank (EIB) is set to invest over £100m to some of the UK’s small businesses.
  • This will be done by using popular online lending platform Funding Circle.
  • According to a statement by the company “This is an interesting direct model for supporting small businesses, which has the potential to be quite efficient”.
  • Funding Circle has performed particularly strongly this year and has been one of the best performing companies of 2015.
  • This will be done through the SME income fund that Funding Circle have allocated for this investment.

Breakdown – How this will all eventually look, and more importantly, how it will function is very difficult to say at this point. What is clear is that investors will have greater access to investing in profitable SMEs than they have had before. According to Funding Circle CEO Samir Desai this product will give investors exposure to both the US and UK Funding Circle marketplaces in a much more streamlined way.

With large institutions and alternative lending providers working side by side this can only be seen as another step in the right direction in getting adequate funding for small businesses. But at the moment it’s very hard to say how SMEs will feel an immediate impact from this deal.

Shoreditch cafe attacked

  • The popular Cereal Killer Cafe found itself the victim of an attack last week when hundreds of protesters attacked the shop on Saturday night.
  • The crowd themselves were said to be protesting the gentrification of East London.
  • In response to the notion that their company had contributed to this co-founder Alan Keery stated “We’re being targeted as the poster boys of gentrification and that’s not our fault”.
  • The demonstration was planned on Facebook with organisers stating that they felt this type of attack was justified because “This city (London) will be an unrecognisable, bland, yuppie infested wasteland with no room for normal (and not so normal) people like us”.

Breakdown – This is very interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly it is interesting that a new enterprise would be blamed for larger issues within an area of London. Secondly it is interesting that the protest focussed on small business , when it is larger multi-national corporations who have been most often accused of manipulating tax systems to their benefit.

In other news… In response to the the refugee crisis various tech companies are coming together to try and assist the desperate plight of the millions of displaced people. According to Natasha McGowan of “The challenges consist of creating a way for separated family members and communities to find each other; find ways to effectively report war crimes; build a method for refugees to be heard so that their needs are met”. For more information on the TechFugees and what they have planned see here for more information.

That’s it for this week. If you are interested in reading previous issues of The Week in Startups see here for more information.