From education to employment

Funding Circle Partners with Hatch Enterprise to Support Underrepresented Entrepreneurs

handshake with window blinds in background
  • Funding Circle partners with charity, Hatch Enterprise to give start-up businesses key resources to achieve their potential
  • 1-1 mentoring, financial training and funding clinics are being made available across the twelve-month partnership
  • As part of its Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda, Funding Circle continues its commitment to empower small businesses across the UK

London, Wednesday September 28, 2022: The UK’s largest small business loan platform, Funding Circle and charity, Hatch Enterprise join forces with the mission to empower underrepresented entrepreneurs to imagine, launch and grow sustainable and impactful businesses through tailored support, community and partnerships.

During the twelve-month partnership, volunteers from Funding Circle – known internally as Circlers –  will train, mentor and coach start-up businesses in learning skills to help them launch, grow or scale their businesses. Funding Circle has also donated £40,000, encouraging entrepreneurs to tackle their challenges in constructive, supportive and personalisedways as part of the 2022-2023 Hatchprogramme. 

Underrepresentation for small businesses in the UK is an ongoing issue with a distinct lack of support, business skills and access to networks available. Research found that less than 1% of venture capital goes to women-led businesses, yet there is a £250bn opportunity by advancing female entrepreneurs. Similarly, when looking at ethnic minorities, less than 7% of small businesses are run by ethnic minorities, however they are 58% more likely to be engaged in product or service innovation.*

In 2014, Hatch launched in Brixton, London to drive solutions to the issues faced by underrepresented businesses, and has now increased its reach across the United Kingdom. To date, the charity has supported over 6,700 UK entrepreneurs through its flexible community-basedsupport (coaching, clinics and events) and tailored Launchpad, Incubator and Accelerator programmes. Today, over 80% of Hatch graduates are women or from another marginalised gender, 71% of its cohort participants are black or from another ethnic minority group, and 90% of its business founders have some social or environmental impact element to their business.

With the goal to build a fairer society, the charity is committed to raise funds with a £10m Hatch Fund by 2026 to provide Hatch Graduates with finance to boost business growth.

Funding Circle helps SMEs win by providing access to more than just the finances they need. With the belief that small businesses are key in driving the UK economic recovery, the UK’s largest loan provider prides itself in recognising how small businesses operate, the challenges faced and how its loans aid small business growth.

Naomi Nathan, Community Programme Manager at Hatch Enterprise said, “Our new partnership with Funding Circle opens up a number of impactful opportunities for Hatch’s founders. We’re excited to have their staff volunteer by sharing their skills and expertise to support founders with their business challenges through finance mentoring, 1:1 consultations, clinics and more. With Funding Circle we’ll also be expanding our support offer to founders in the area of access to funding.“

Alexander Allen, UK Managing Director at Funding Circle said, “We are really excited to kick-off our new partnership with Hatch Enterprise and help some incredible entrepreneurs achieve their potential. Our team of Circlers can’t wait to get started and offer a helping hand to see entrepreneurs learn, develop and thrive. At Funding Circle, we proudly champion SMEs across the UK and we truly believe that they drive the UK’s economic growth as well as play a key part in building the SME community.”

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