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Funding Circle

Founded in 2010, Funding Circle is one of the largest online platforms for business loans in the world. They have helped over 135,000 small businesses borrow $19 billion to power their growth.

The Challenge

During the pandemic, the resolve and resilience of small businesses was truly tested. With small businesses rising magnificently to the challenge.

Funding Circle wanted to dig deeper into SMEs’ resilience, and find answers to questions such as:

  • What (in practical terms) does this mean?
  • How do resilient businesses operate compared to their less resilient peers?
  • How successful are they?

Funding Circle needed to understand and define the different components of resilience. Their aim was to differentiate amongst businesses in terms of attitudes and behaviours, uncovering what makes them more or less resilient than others. Thus, providing small businesses with the toolkit to identify areas in which they can become more resilient in the future.

Our approach

To get things started, Savanta conducted an EXPLORER workshop with the Funding Circle internal stakeholders to try and understand how they defined business resilience. This was one of the most important parts of the project lifecycle, as both the Funding Circle and Savanta teams were able to hypothesise the metrics which they believed made up the resilience index. As this was something that did not have a textbook definition, both teams worked collaboratively to achieve an agreed framework.

Savanta then designed a comprehensive survey that collected a range of information on attitudes and behaviours around resilience and allowed Savanta to break down the results on metrics such as the size of SMEs, industry sector, region, and turnover. In order to effectively reach a representative non-customer sample, the survey was distributed using Savanta’s specialist B2B panel.

The outcome

As there was not a pure textbook definition for this field, the Savanta team ran a number of resilience hypotheses past our client at Funding Circle to fine-tune the index model based on the feedback.

We then used our design team to generate a public-facing report based on the survey results, which our client used as part of their marketing activities.

This report was published by Funding Circle and, subsequently, picked up by the press, generating several headlines in various UK-based financial and business-focused publications, including Fintech Finance News and Peer2Peer Finance News.


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