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Forum of Private Business partners with ABF to fast track 12,000 small firms to business funding

New Partnership with ABF responds to Forum research - finding a quarter of small firms were unable to grow in 2015 as they didn’t have access to the right sort of finance

Following a Forum of Private Business (Forum) survey finding that over a quarter of small businesses were unable to grow as they didn’t have access to the right sort of finance, Alternative Business Funding (ABF) and the Forum have announced a partnership to provide 12,000 businesses that the Forum represents with direct access to the UK’s leading alternative funding marketplace through a new online tool called ‘Funder Finder’.

The Forum survey, which was sent to 7,000 members, also found that over a sixth of small businesses require finance in 2016, but are not confident of being able to access it.

With more than 80 finance providers currently available on ABF’s Funder Finder, Forum members will now be able to use the innovative funder match algorithm to receive quick quotes on a range of finance products, and ensure that they have the best chance possible to secure appropriate finance for their business. Funder Finder will also provide Forum members with access to expert advisers to identify which finance options are more suitable to their business, and also provide access to an online knowledge base of advice and guidance covering a range of finance types and situations.

Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum of Private Business, said:

 “A recent Forum survey showed that lack of reliable advice remains a key barrier to the adoption of alternative finance. This partnership with ABF will help our members overcome this barrier by giving them direct access to a new online tool called ‘Funder Finder’ – which will allow our members to understand which finance products are most suitable for their business, and at the same time, gain access to expert advisers on both alternative and traditional forms of finance.”   

ABF recently released data finding that from over 20,000 visits to the portal, P2P term loans received the most matches to an SME but traditional methods made up 73 per cent of all funding matches. To date, ABF estimates that over 2,500 SMEs have successfully found funding through the portal.

Adam Tavener, Chairman of Alternative Business Funding (ABF), said:

“This partnership will direct 12,000 small firms to a huge range of business finance options – from both traditional and alternative funding providers. To benefit from ‘Funder Finder’ members of the Forum only need to answer a few simple questions about their company’s funding requirements, and they will be immediately signposted to only those funding options that can meet the potential requirements of the business.”


As part of the partnership, the Forum will also:

-       Provide members with access to online advice and guidance on how they can use money from their accumulated pensions as an alternative source of business funding. Advice will be provided by that has now helped more than 2,000 SMEs finance their own businesses, to the tune of more than £210million.

-       Offer a complimentary membership to the Forum to each SME that transits through ‘Funder Finder’ and receives funding. Forum membership includes comprehensive legal expenses insurance cover, a 24-hour legal and general member’s helpline for support on all business issues and access to exclusive money-saving offers on essentials like utilities, cyber protection, telecoms, card processing, business insurance and purchasing.




Notes to editors:

·         For interviews, please contact David Pippett at DWP PR -


About provides a free and easy way for SMEs to find alternative business funding.  It aims to make it simple for time-constrained business-owners to contact the right funder, by answering only a few simple questions.

The unique collaboration brings together the market-leaders for the main forms of alternative business funding for SME finance, so all types of funding from short to long-term loans /debt/ equity or self-investing are covered.

Funding participants already cover over 85% of the alternative business funding market* in invoice trading, peer-to-peer, Pension-led funding and revenue based funding, with plans for more to join the collaboration in the near future.

Launched in March 2014, just weeks before the Government Referral consultation was announced, is committed to creating a more collaborative environment for business funding, aimed at simplifying SME owners’ search for finance to help support their businesses and also a place for the major banks to redirect customers. It is supported by the CBI.(*Altfinnews market share)

The Forum Business Support Survey was sent to 7,000 members in June 2015. These findings are based on a response rate of 10%.