Five questions for... Christoph Rieche, CEO, iwoca

Iwoca is an online startup that provides financing for small businesses.


Copyright Johan - Paul Hion

What does your business do?

Iwoca has reinvented small-business lending by breaking down the barriers that stand between small businesses and finance. That means no more convoluted forms, long waits and unfairly rigid lending criteria. Instead, iwoca is building award-winning technology that makes credit available to small businesses in a couple of clicks, providing access to £1,000-£150,000 directly through the iwoca website and through partner integrations.

What's been your greatest achievement?

Since launching in 2012 we have financed nearly 20,000 micro and small businesses. In the first quarter of 2018 alone we have approved 3,500 small businesses for credit facilities, far more than any other challenger bank, and nearly matching HSBC's or Barclays's business overdraft approvals.

What's been your biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge is to put to an end to the monopoly banks have on their customers. Even though 56% of small businesses find it difficult to secure financing according to the British Business Bank, the vast majority of small businesses will only apply to their own bank for financing.

How do you plan to hit your targets this year?

Our target is to finance 100,000 small businesses in the UK over the next five years, which would put us on par with leading high-street banks. To achieve this we'll need to invest heavily in research and development to build a broader product range and in marketing to create greater awareness among small-business owners.

What's the one piece of advice you'd give fellow entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurship is a marathon of sprints. Be resilient, and never take no for an answer.



Small business

Small business: how to chase late-paying customers

Many small business have trouble getting their customers to pay up on time. Here's what you can do about it.
23 Jan 2020

Don’t squeeze our entrepreneurs with higher taxes

Britain’s entrepreneurs and business innovators get generous tax breaks. They should keep getting them.
17 Nov 2019
Small business

An update for the business-rate support scheme

The government has added £600m to plug the gap in its small business rates relief scheme for businesses in shared-office buildings.
5 Jun 2020
Small business

Should you put off paying your VAT bill?

Just because you can put off your VAT bill doesn’t mean you should. It is a loan, not a cancellation of the debt.
5 Jun 2020

Most Popular


These seven charts show exactly why you must own gold today

Covid-19 is accelerating many trends that were already in existence. The rising gold price is one such trend. These seven charts, says Dominic Frisby,…
3 Jun 2020

Disease, rioting and mass unemployment – so why are markets soaring?

Despite some pretty strong headwinds in the last year, America’s S&P 500 stock index is close to all-time highs. John Stepek explains why markets seem…
4 Jun 2020

This looks like the biggest opportunity in today’s markets

With low interest rates and constant money-printing, most assets have become expensive. But one major asset class hasn’t. John Stepek explains why com…
2 Jun 2020