British Small Business Awards: Finance Provider of the Year shortlist

The Finance Provider of the Year category at the British Small Business Awards has been announced, rewarding the mainstream finance institution best suited to SMEs.

Our fourth shortlist announcement for the British Small Business Awards is the Finance Provider of the Year category.

Our Finance Provider of the Year will recognise the bank or mainstream finance institution that has best addressed the needs of smaller businesses, with the judges considering factors such as access to and supply of debt, customer service and SME-focused initiatives.

After careful consideration and a close scrutiny of how each candidate matched up to the criteria, the Finance Provider of the Year finalists are revealed as:

Barclays Bank

Bibby Financial Services

Boost Capital 

Close Brothers Retail



OakNorth Bank

Sillicon Valley Bank

Wesleyan Bank

The Finance Provider of the Year category represents those institutions that have a demonstrable record of funding SMEs. Raising money is a pivotal time for a small business. At the start-up stage, many companies have to rely on their own funds, or the cash of family and friends, but once they have established themselves and have built a healthy customer base and turnover after the bootstrapping stage, perhaps having taken on a few employees, they are in a good position to raise more funds to grow. These financiers may be the best choice under those circumstances.

It is an exciting time for SMEs looking to raise money: small business lending has increased by almost 30 per cent (29.8 per cent) to £20.7 billion, according to the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers’ (NACFB) latest annual data. Over the past year, lending to SMEs has exceeded the pre-recession high of 2007. It’s also the seventh consecutive year that total lending to small businesses has grown.

It goes to show that the appetite for funding is out there, and you certainly don’t have to be a huge enterprise to benefit.

The British Small Business Awards, taking place on October 20th at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London, is the leading celebration of the UK’s small business sector, recognising the nation’s best sole traders, micro businesses and small companies – as well as the service providers, financiers and advisers that support them. For more information, please visit the British Small Business Awards website here.

The British Small Business Awards event is sponsored by:


Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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