The British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme has announced that it has delivered £66m to new and early- stage businesses in the South West region since 2012.

40% of the lending – some £26.4m – has been provided to over 2,500 new businesses through local delivery partner SWIG Finance, a growing CDFI (Community Development Finance Institution) which has offices in Truro, Exeter and Bristol.

SWIG Finance has worked with the Start Up Loans programme since it started in 2012, with demand reaching an all-time high in the last year when the company approved 473 loans worth nearly £6m – a 40% increase on the previous years’ lending.

SWIG’s Managing Director, John Peters, said “The South West is an incredible breeding ground for new business talent and we have seen demand surge like never before in the last year. Start Up Loans is a fantastic scheme through which we provide business support, finance and mentoring to hundreds of our region’s new entrepreneurs every year, many of whom would otherwise have struggled have get the help they needed to get off the ground.”

One of SWIG’s recent Start Up Loan customers is Luke Craven, 25, from Malmesbury in Wiltshire, who took out a loan of £21,000 in January 2021 to launch BiJimini Spices – a company that creates interesting and tasty spices made from crickets and insects. More information about Luke’s Start Up Loan journey can be found at here.

About SWIG Finance

SWIG Finance is the South West’s leading Community Development Financial Institution. We are passionate about bringing social and economic benefits to people and places in the South West.

We do this by providing support and finance to Start Ups and growing SMEs that can create and secure employment opportunities.

As the South West’s leading delivery partner for Start Up Loans UK, we can provide Start Up Loans from £500 – £25,000. For more information visit

We also have business loans from £25,001 to £250,000 available to South West SMEs who cannot access sufficient funding from their bank

If you would like to have an informal discussion about your funding requirements, get in touch with our friendly and professional team to find out how we can help: / 01872 227 930.