Business Loans

We have a range of loans available to help start ups and exisiting businesses that are looking for finance to grow.

Business Loans

We have a range of loans available to help start ups and exisiting businesses that are looking for finance to grow.

Business loans for SMEs

Raising business finance and continuing growth is key to keeping the cogs of any successful business turning.

At First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans we recognise that raising finance can be problematic especially if you are a new business or have had difficulty accessing finance from traditional lenders. That’s where we can help. As a Responsible Finance Provider, we offer business loans from £500 to £250,000 to help entrepreneurs and business owners across the East Midlands and South East Midlands to flourish and grow.


Our Offer

Business loans with a human touch

We see all of our clients and their businesses as an individual and not a number and we run our business in the same way. Every step of our loan process, from assessing initial applications through to depositing business loan funds, is managed by our team of experts so you can be assured your experience with us is a personal one.

You will be assigned with your own dedicated business adviser who will assist you through the application process and help you to prepare and submit the required documentation. We also provide a mentoring service so support doesn’t stop when funds hit your account.

Competitive, fixed rates

Our interest rates are competitive and fixed throughout your repayment term so you can be assured you won’t receive any rises in repayments.

Flexible terms up to 5 years

We offer various repayment terms from 1-5 years to suit your needs including no early repayment fees, should you wish you repay your loan earlier.

Simple and quick loan process

Our loan application process consists of four quick, simple and supportive steps, meaning you can continue to focus on your business and expect to receive your loan usually within 3 to 6 weeks.

Our business loan funds

First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans offer five different funding options so you can be assured we have a business loan to suit your business’ needs. These funds are all designed to plug gaps in high street lending and are backed by the government to help businesses and entrepreneurs across the East Midlands and South East Midlands who might not otherwise be able to access finance they need to start or grow. Our team of advisers will create a funding package of up to £250,000 from the following funds within our portfolio:

* We predominantly cover the East Midlands and South East Midlands but can support a number of businesses outside of this region.

Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) Small Business Loans

From £25,001 – £250k*

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is a collaboration between The British Business Bank and 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPS) across the Midlands.

As part of our partnership, we manage the £13 million small business loans pot for the East and South East Midlands. MEIF small business loans range from £25,001 to £150,000 and are available to new and growing businesses.

They can be used for a range of purposes, including asset acquisitions, filling gaps in growth capital and funding expansion plans.

*Subject to fund eligibility.

Community Investment Enterprise Fund | Big Society Capital

From from £25,001 -£100,000.*

Big Society Capital is a social impact-led investor which supports charities, social enterprises and other businesses wanting to a create a better, sustainable future.

As one of their fund managers, we share their ambition by providing £4.5m of finance to help improve economic activity in deprived communities with funding ranging from £25,001 to £100,000.

*Subject to fund eligibility.




Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Loans

From £3,000 – £150,000*

This CDFI fund was created with investment from the East Midlands Development Agency in 2008 to support business loan applicants who may find it hard to access finance from mainstream lenders.

Loans range from £3,000 to £150,000. We often use these funds to match fund MEIF/CIEF business loans or where applicants don’t meet the eligibility criteria of our other business loan funds.

All capital loan repayments are reinvested back into the loan pot to help support more businesses throughout the region.

*Subject to fund eligibility.

Regional Growth Fund (RGF) Loans

From £3,000 – £150,000*

The RGF is a loan fund partly financed by the government which is accessed through Responsible Finance.

The total value of this fund is £3 million with business loans ranging from £3,000 to £150,000.

Loans from the fund are available to businesses looking to fund a shortfall in their business growth plans and have been unable to access finance from other sources.

*Subject to fund eligibility.

Start Up Loan Fund

From £500 – £25,000*

First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans is an official delivery partner of the Start Up Loans Company delivering Start-Up loans across the East Midlands, South East Midlands and East Anglia.

The Start Up Loans Company is a UK-wide, government-backed scheme which offers a repayable loan to individuals over the age of 18 who have a viable business idea and have been trading for less than 2 years.

Start-up loans range from £500 to £25,000 and can be used to fund a wide range of business expenses and costs associated with starting a new business.

*Subject to fund eligibility.


Still have a question? Don't worry, we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions below to answer any you still have.

We consider each application individually, but any missed payments or adverse credit information must be explained fully and satisfactory evidence provided, if necessary.

Unfortunately, we cannot lend to you if you have a County Court Judgment (CCJ), have been declared bankrupt or are about to enter an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA).

All of our interest rates are fixed for the entire term of your loan so you can be assured you won’t receive any interest rate rises.

A business loan is intended for business use only such as buying stock or upgrading equipment whereas a personal loan is intended for personal use such as financing a car.

Complete our initial business loan application form on our website in less than 3 minutes. If your business is eligible, you will be assigned a dedicated business adviser who will support you throughout your loan application to ensure your application contains all the required documents and your business meets all the necessary criteria for a successful application. To help with your loan application, check out our loan fund assessor’s top tips for a successful loan application.

Please note this does not guarantee a successful loan application.

In the case of sole traders and partnerships, the business owners should apply. Limited companies require an application from all directors. In some cases, we may request that shareholders who are not directors also be signatories to the loan if they are instrumental to the running of the business.

Depending on your circumstances, you can borrow from £500 to £250,000*. To find out how much you can borrow, complete an initial business loan application form online.

*Subject to eligibility.

No, all of our loans come with a no early repayment fee guarantee.

Every application is different but successful applicants can expect their loan application and approval process to take an average of 2-4 weeks with funds being deposited into your bank account within 2-3 days for start-up loans and within 1-2 weeks for other loan funds.

No, business loans are loans intended for business use and have to be repaid within the loan term at the agreed interest rate. Grants do not have to be paid back.

No, you can only apply for a start-up loan for one business. If you own multiple businesses, you will only be able to access finance for one of them. However, if you later require additional funding in order to grow and develop that business, you may be eligible to apply for a second loan. This will require a new application and you must have made at least six months of full loan repayments before applying.

Please note your total outstanding loan balance cannot exceed £25,000 at any one time.

More in this Section

Loan process

Loan Process

Our four-step loan process is managed by humans so you can be assured your application is carefully considered and not seen as just a number.

Start up loan

Start-Up Loans

Proudly supporting new businesses. We are an official delivery partner for the Start Up Loans Company.


Recovery Loan Scheme

First Enterprise - Enterprise Loans is proud to be a delivery partner for the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) – supporting businesses across the East Midlands and Southeast Midlands with loans ranging from £25,001 – £250,000.

Business growth

Business Growth

Proudly providing business growth loans up to £250,000 to help you grow your business.

Midlands Engine Investment Fund

Midlands Engine Investment Fund

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is a collaboration between The British Business Bank and 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPS) across the Midlands.

Community investment enterprise facility

Community Investment Enterprise Facility

Proudly supporting charities and social enterprises with business loans and enterprise in the UK.

Success stories

Success Stories

At First Enterprise we really pride ourselves in helping businesses grow. Here are a few case studies of businesses that we have helped over the years.

Top tips for a speedy loan approval

Mike's Top Tips for a Swift Loan Approval

Read Mike's ten top tips to ensure your loan application progresses through the loan application process as swiftly as possible.