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Budget 2018: Business Rates Cut Welcome After SME Numbers Drop 27,000 in a Year


The 2018 Budget contains good news for some of Britain’s 5.6m small businesses but more can be done in future to ensure this mainstay sector of the UK economy remains healthy. Christoph Rieche, CEO and co-founder of iwoca, one of Europe’s fastest growing small business lenders, wants to see the Government making it easier for small businesses to grow. The number of UK SMEs (fewer than 250 employees) is down more than 27,000 year-on-year in 2018. The total fell to 5,660,000, from 5,687,230 in 2017.

Commenting on the 2018 Budget, Christoph Rieche, CEO and Co-Founder of iwoca, said:

“Cutting business rates will come as welcoming news to thousands of independent retailers like Champ’s Barbers who we helped expand into a second premises earlier this year. At a time when jobs and economic growth are more dependent on the success of this sector than ever before, the Government should be clearing the way for British businesses to thrive. It’s taken a step in that direction today.”

Rieche continued:

“We believe the Government’s focus should now be on making it easier for small businesses to grow. The British Business Bank recently found that one-in-three British SMEs are unsure how to expand their business even though they want to. By reforming access to working capital through more initiatives like the Bank Referral Scheme and RBS alternative remedies package, the Government could fix a broken bank lending market and give more of a helping hand to the small business owners that keep the UK ticking.”

iwoca is unlocking economic growth by breaking down the barriers that stop Europe’s 20 million small businesses from accessing finance. It provides loans of up to £200,000 to small and micro businesses across the UK, Germany and Poland via our website and through partner integrations using its Lending API.

Since launching in 2012, iwoca has lent more than £550 million to over 21,500 European businesses and 70% of its lending decisions are automated, where customers get approved within 13 seconds. No more convoluted forms, long waits and unfairly rigid lending criteria, iwoca makes credit available in a couple of clicks.

The fintech lender achieved profitability in the first half of 2018 and has raised approximately £210 million in equity and debt finance to-date. For more information go to, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @iwoca and Instagram @iwoca.