Lender of the year: Cyan Finance

Paula McGinnellWith a mandate to support only green, sustainable and socially positive companies, Cyan Finance deploys capital from its balance sheet and provides corporate finance advisory services. Through the provision of tailored debt finance, Cyan seeks to operate where traditional financial institutions do not, meeting the needs of underserved green businesses.

Cyan's provision of debt funding aims to minimise the dilution for young companies' shareholders compared to if they were raising additional equity which, Cyan argues, these companies believe is the only way they can grow.

In 2020, Cyan claims it became the first specialist lender to green small, and medium enterprises (SMEs) to be accredited under the UK government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). This scheme provides a UK government-backed guarantee to eligible lenders and can cover all fees and interest for the first 12 months of the loans, helping companies access much needed funds.

"A major area of focus for Cyan's lending business has been helping sustainable companies through the pandemic," said Paula McGinnell, sustainable investments at Cyan. "As a CBILS lender, Cyan has been spearheading the UK's green recovery by continuing to support our clients to decarbonise road transport, combat plastic pollution, practise sustainable agriculture and much more."

Over the last 12 months Cyan has made dozens of loans to sustainable companies, deploying many millions of pounds into impact-led businesses across the UK. Cyan is sector agnostic, working with companies from across the sustainability ecosystem, including e-mobility, agriculture, clean-tech, responsible consumer goods and green buildings.