Welcome to our annual Social Impact Report. This report shines a light on how our finance is being used as a force for good across the South West.

As we waved goodbye to the 2021/22 financial year, many businesses will have been going through a range of emotions. Relief that another incredibly hard year had come to an end, optimism for the year ahead. And perhaps some feelings of apprehension for what the next twelve months might bring.

At SWIG Finance we’ve continued to observe our region’s SMEs weathering a perfect storm brought about by the pandemic, global conflict, and inflation.

Consequently, we’ve supported many business owners and management teams with pivoting their business models. Adaptability has been the key to success.

However, whilst we battle these challenges, there is still much optimism. Market demand tells us that many businesses are gearing up for a growth trajectory. We are ready to support when needed.

Last year we continued to support even more businesses, with 43% of our lending going to female-led businesses. In addition, 15% of our lending went to ethnic minority-led businesses.

This year, we adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These have been embedded into our lending data to help us measure our social impact.

Here are some of the key takeaways:
  • A quarter of our lending (25%) was made to businesses in the most deprived areas of the South West, helping to alleviate poverty and contributing to the goal of Zero Hunger.
  • More than 30% of the businesses we supported during 2021/22 were actively working to improve the wellbeing of people within their communities.
  • Up to 34% of the businesses we supported have plans in place to support sustainable consumption and production.
  • 27% of businesses were actively working to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of life on land and below water.

As a CDFI, helping to create positive impacts for people and places in the South West is core to our purpose. In the post Covid- support landscape, access to finance remains a key challenge for many SMEs and start-ups, which is where CDFIs like SWIG Finance can help.

About SWIG Finance

SWIG Finance is a non-profit company. We support viable South West businesses that can’t secure sufficient funding from their bank.

By empowering underserved SMEs to overcome their financial barriers, we are working to create a more balanced financial eco-system.

If you’d like to discuss your funding requirements, then please get in touch to see how we can help: info@swigfinance.co.uk / 01872 227 930.