OakNorth has become the first challenger bank to join the British Business Bank's Help to Grow programme.
The programme allows fast-growth SMEs to take out a loan of up to £2m to support the development of new products and processes, invest in research and innovation and target new export markets.
OakNorth recently appointed three new directors after announcing plans to increase its loan book by £500m during 2017.
Rishi Khosla, CEO and co-founder of OakNorth, hoped that joining Help to Grow would provide the bank with an additional platform to help support the growth ambitions of businesses.
“One of the key challenges facing entrepreneurs and business owners in the UK is securing debt finance, especially once they've moved beyond the start-up phase and are making a profit and looking to grow.
“This is an opportunity to change that and ensure that entrepreneurs are able to secure growth capital throughout every phase of the business journey.
“We're very excited to be the first challenger bank to join the programme and are already in conversation with a number of eligible businesses who may be able to benefit.”
The Help to Grow programme's lending is available to businesses across all sectors, but innovative firms in manufacturing, creative industries and technology are expected to benefit the most.
“At the British Business Bank, one of our principal objectives is to increase the diversity of funding options available to growing UK businesses,” said Judith Hartley, managing director for lending solutions at the British Business Bank.
“Supporting new entrants to the SME finance market and innovative forms of lending are of key importance to us in achieving that aim.
“We are therefore delighted to welcome OakNorth Bank as a new partner in our Help to Grow programme.”
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