Enterprise Ventures has launched a new private capital loan fund with £40m backing from Santander UK plc and Greater Manchester Pension Fund.

Enterprise Ventures SME Loans will provide up to £1m to established and ambitious SMEs in all sectors and in all areas of the UK, building on Enterprise Ventures’ strongholds in Yorkshire and Humberside and the North West.

The launch of the new fund brings Enterprise Ventures’ total funds under management to £200m. Chief Executive Jonathan Diggines said: “Enterprise Ventures SME Loans represents a significant new institutional source of investment into the SME market, one which is not subject to the constraints of other Government and European funds.

“We recognise the important role that small businesses play in providing services and employment within local communities, developing new ideas and technologies, and strengthening regional economies.

“The backing by Santander UK plc and Greater Manchester Pension Fund supports our aim of providing better access to finance for small businesses and their commitment is highly innovative.”

Santander’s investment is part of its Breakthrough initiative, a unique suite of financial and non-financial services and products for the country’s most ambitious businesses. Damian McGann, Divisional Managing Director – North of England, at Santander UK Corporate & Commercial said: “SMEs need access to multiple sources of finance, our support of Enterprise Ventures allows us to fill a gap in the market and provide a breadth of innovative solutions for all ambitious SMEs.

“SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy, helping to create jobs and drive local economic growth. Santander has been a consistent supporter of businesses in the UK, with lending over the last four years growing by an average of 20% per annum.”

Enterprise Ventures SME Loans are available now to established businesses anywhere in the UK which have been trading for three years or more and which have current or anticipated £100k operating profit and a minimum turnover of £1 million.

Loans will be available for all purposes, including acquisitions, asset purchases, operational improvement and business development. For further information contact Paul Taberner on 0345 094 8886.